Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

North Korea’s Kim meets with South’s Moon for 2nd time

Donald Trump says US North Korea summit ‘could’ happen on 12 June Korea Summitry
Andrew Cummings | 27 May, 2018, 01:48

South Korea's presidential palace said that President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone from 3 to 5 p.m, Yonhap news agency reported.

The summit took place from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m.at Panmungak, a North Korean building inside Panmunjeom, Yoon said.

The presidential office said Moon will announce the outcome of his second meeting with Kim on Sunday at 10 a.m.

China's Vice President Wang Qishan found encouragement in the continuing exchanges between the US and North Korea.

Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon, said the two leaders likely discussed bridging the gap between Washington and Pyongyang on what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons would look like.

Moon is the only South Korean leader to have met a North Korean leader twice, both times in the DMZ, a symbol of unending hostilities after the Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

On Thursday, Trump cancelled the summit that was due to take place in Singapore, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" from Pyongyang in recent days.

"The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-U.S. summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration", South Korea's presidential spokesman said in a statement.

Trump said in a tweet that "very productive talks" were ongoing with North Korea about reinstating the summit.

He added that if necessary, the meeting "will be extended beyond that date".

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USA officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea fully eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.

White House sends an advance team to Singapore to work on logistics for a possible United States-North Korea summit.

Relations between China and North Korea have improved markedly since Kim Jong Un visited Beijing in March for his first foreign trip since becoming the supreme leader following the death of his father Kim Jong Il in 2011. Before he cancelled the summit, Trump this past week did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North. Kim Jong Un's comments published by the newspaper did not include any mention of his potential meeting with Trump.

The North's decision to close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site has generally been seen as a welcome gesture by Mr Kim to set a positive tone ahead of the summit.

In a letter to Kim announcing the cancellation, Trump objected specifically to a statement from senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui.

President Moon Jae-in had earlier said he was "very perplexed" and that it was "very regrettable" that the summit was not going ahead. We're talking to them [North Korea] now.

Trump's original decision to abandon the historic summit blindsided South Korea which had been brokering a remarkable detente between Washington and Pyongyang.

It also was unhappy about the North's failure to allow worldwide observers to verify the dismantling of the Punggye-ri test site, the staging ground for all six of its nuclear tests.

Joel Wit, founder of the respected 38 North website that monitors North Korea, said Kim's hand has been strengthened regardless of whether the summit goes ahead because recent weeks have seen him forge connections with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as with Russian Federation and South Korea.

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