President Moon Jae-in is slowly wrapping up his week-long trip of Southeast Asia on this Tuesday night with just a few agenda left on the leader's itinerary.
In Manila to attend the ASEAN Summit and related meetings, the South Korean president reportedly dropped by the Blue House briefing room set up in downtown Manila.
We have our chief correspondent Moon Connyoung on the line. She joins us from the Philippines.
Connyoung, so a second visit by President Moon following the first one in Indonesia last week?
It was another unexpected stop by the president here at the makeshift Blue House briefing room set up for the traveling press corps in downtown Manila.
The visit was so abrupt that more than half of the seats were empty with many reporters out finishing up their final pieces of the South Korean president's eight-day, three-nation Southeast Asia tour.
The president started the mini press conference by a brief evaluation of the overseas trip this time calling it a success as South Korea was able to secure a near perfect support for its policy on North Korea's nuclear program -- that is using sanctions, pressure, whatever it takes to bring the isolated state to the negotiations table.
Now, even if the right environment is created for talks, the South Korean president does not believe it would be easy for North Korea to quickly dismantle, destroy its nuclear weapons considering the highly developed state of its arsenal.
What President Moon said today is that if Pyongyang does agreee to talks, he's willing to hold negotiations with all options open although it's quite too early at this point to specify exactly what.
So, yes there are many different ways Seoul and Pyongyang can work things out once the two are on talking terms but for now, he along with the rest of the global community will focus on ramping up sanctions and pressure to bring North Korea to the dialogue table.
Dominating the headlines during President Moon's Southeast Asia tour was the sideline summit between the leaders of South Korea and China. Did he have any word on that?
Absolutely. In fact, about his back-to-back meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping a few days ago in Danang and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang just last night here in Manila.
The South Korean leader quite frankly noted that the disagreement between Seoul and Beijing over a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea remains as is but that he and his Chinese counterpart reaffirmed the October 31st agreement to leave the THAAD issue behind and bring back to normal the bilateral relations in all other sectors.
Mr. Moon reminded the press of his visit to Beijing next month for what will be his third bilateral summit with President Xi during which he does not believe THAAD will be an agenda between the two leaders, Daniel.