NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump credited his North Korea policy for "progress" with Kim Jong Un and for "no nuclear testing," during a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday.
Trump and Moon held their ninth summit, where they addressed North Korea and the bilateral alliance between Washington and Seoul.
The two leaders kept their statements to the media brief. By 5:40 p.m., less than half an hour after the summit began, officials ushered reporters out of the meeting room at the Barclay Hotel Intercontinental.
While Moon addressed the alliance and praised Trump while approaching the issue of North Korea denuclearization, Trump did not return the gesture. He credited his own policies for keeping the peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Trump did say he welcomes South Korea's purchase of U.S. weapons.
"We're working together very well," he was heard saying on Monday.
Moon launched a charm offensive during the talks, lauding Trump for his decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim three times, and for his willingness to meet with Kim again before the end of the year.
"I always marvel at your imagination and bold decision-making," Moon said, as he commended Trump for his "historic" visit to Panmunjom and for his "help" in stabilizing inter-Korea relations.
The South Korean leader also said he expects working-level talks between the United States and North Korea to start soon, a move that would pave the way for a "third summit" -- not including the brief June meeting in Panmunjom.
Trump has often criticized allies like South Korea for not "paying more" for maintaining U.S. troops.
"Sometimes our allies treat us worse than anybody else," Trump had said last week in Baltimore.
Moon said on Monday South Korea's decision to sign a deal to "increase the import of [U.S.] liquefied natural gas" is all part of strengthening bilateral ties.
In his remarks to reporters, Trump said his North Korea policy has been successful. During his time in office, Trump said he had had "two very successful summits," and that the events occurred even as the United States increased sanctions against North Korea. Last week the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on three North Korea hacking operations; South Korea is seeking some sanctions easing for North Korea.
While Moon appeared confident of a third U.S.-North Korea summit before the end of 2019, Trump seemed to be more speculative, despite his "great relationship" with Kim.
"We'll see," Trump said, when a reporter asked him about a third summit.
The president highlighted past achievements, including the return of all known U.S. hostages from North Korea and the return of U.S. soldier remains from the 1950-53 Korean War.
Trump also downplayed North Korea's recent missile tests.
"We're going to be taking a look at it...[but] it was never part of our discussion," the president said, referring to past talks with the North Korean leader. "We actually signed an agreement in Singapore."
Trump credited his approach to North Korea for eased tensions.
"We didn't have an agreement on short-range missile tests and a lot of people in a lot of countries test short-range missiles," the president said. "There's nothing spectacular about that."
"We would be at war with North Korea right now if I wasn't president.
"Plus there's been no nuclear testing for a long period of time."
Ahead of the summit between Trump and Moon, analysts in South Korea had expected some statements on strengthening trilateral cooperation for the United States, South Korea and Japan.
Following South Korea's decision to not renew Japan-Korea GSOMIA, a military intelligence-sharing deal, the U.S. State Department had expressed "disappointment" and "grave concern."
The decision on GSOMIA was not mentioned on Monday.