By Kim Hyelin and Lee Jihae
President Moon Jae-in on June 1 told U.S. President Donald Trump in phone talks that he "welcomed the invitation extended by the U.S." to a G7 summit, adding that Korea will "fully fulfill its role in both infectious disease prevention and control as well as the economy."
Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson Kang Min-seok said in a written briefing that in the 15-minute conversation, President Moon thanked the U.S. for inviting Korea to this year's G7 summit and "welcomed the invitation."
"If the G7 Summit is held in an expanded and face-to-face format this year, it will become a milestone in the post-COVID-19 era," President Moon said.
"If a face-to-face summit is held successfully at an appropriate time, it would signal a return to normalcy and economic recovery for the whole world."
President Trump also said the "G7 mechanism has become rather obsolete, and does not properly reflect the current state of the world." He proposed expanding the group of advanced economies to a G11 or G12 format and asked for President Moon's opinion.
"The G7 framework has certain limitations in terms of responding to global problems and finding solutions," President Moon said in response.
"Inviting Korea, Australia, India and Russia is an appropriate step."
The two leaders also discussed the inclusion of Brazil in the proposed expanded group, something President Moon called a "good idea" given the Latin American country's "vast population, economic size and geographical representation."
President Trump also agreed, saying he would work in that direction.
The Korea-U.S. phone talks were the 25th of President Moon's term and third this year.