Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

South Korea's Moon Jae-in may join Trump, Kim for Singapore summit

(LEAD) South Korea vows to faithfully implement summit agreement with NK Abe backs Trump's cancellation of U.S.-N. Korea summit
Andrew Cummings | 28 May, 2018, 08:15

Earlier on Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and to a planned meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The Washington Post reported that the United States delegation to the Panmunjom meeting - in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea - was led by Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North.

During his two-hour meeting with Mr Kim, Mr Moon said he urged both Washington and Pyongyang "to remove misunderstandings through direct communication and to have sufficient dialogue in advance through working-level negotiations on the agendas to be agreed upon at the summit".

Critics said Trump accomplished little with his efforts, leaving North Korea a nuclear power and handing away USA leverage by agreeing to meet with Kim in the first place.

In an interview with Dana Bash, Clapper spoke on the letter Trump sent to Kim declaring the cancellation of a planned summit between the two leaders, originally slated for June 12.

"I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done", the President told reporters.

"This is a great step", said Vipin Narang, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at MIT, noting that the summit preparation was best handled by experts behind the scenes rather than in public forums like Twitter.

"It's moving along very nicely", Trump said at the White House on Saturday.

CNN global affairs analyst Joseph Yun said a joint declaration of some sort on June 12 was far more likely, given the short time period to iron out differences before Mr Trump and Mr Kim meet. "And I don't know if it's going to be June 12, but I think it's going to happen", she said.

(LEAD) South Korea vows to faithfully implement summit agreement with NK

According to the US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, North Korea has expressed reluctance to ship all of its nuclear weapons and missiles outside the country.

"What is unclear to Chairman Kim Jong Un is not the will for denuclearization, but the concern that if [North Korea] denuclearizes, whether the USA can end hostile relations and guarantee the security of the [Kim] regime", Moon said.

A USA delegation arrived in North Korea on Sunday as preparations for the talks continue.

Mr Trump had rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Mr Kim, citing "open hostility" from the Pyongyang regime.

Seeking a denuclearisation deal with North Korea was a top priority for a leader who came to the White House on a political promise of putting "America first" while withdrawing from worldwide agreements on climate change and Iran.

The United States has demanded the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible" dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

And now we have USA officials on North Korean side of the DMZ.

What was uncertain to Mr Kim was U.S. intentions, said Mr Moon.

"However, during the US-South Korea summit, President Trump clearly emphasised that we may see not only the end of hostile relations but also economic cooperation if North Korea denuclearises", Moon said.

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