Friday, 19 October, 2018

Donald Trump can meet Kim Jong-un after US mid-term polls

President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June
Andrew Cummings | 14 October, 2018, 07:00

South Korean leadership backtracked statements that it's considering lifting sanctions on North Korea Thursday, following harsh criticism from President Donald Trump and the conservative base at home.

Moon is embarking on a nine day tour of Europe from October 13 to 21 that will include stops in France, Italy and Denmark on top of the Vatican.

At their latest meeting, Moon and Kim agreed to resume economic cooperation, with construction work to be started within this year to reconnect rail and road links.

"We will give the pope an enthusiastic welcome if he visits North Korea", the spokesman quoted Kim as telling Moon. However, he called the Northern leader "sincere and sincere".

"North Korea can be seen in the framework of great attention that the pope and Holy See are paying to East Asia" with a clear awareness of the "political and diplomatic dividends that peace would bring on a global level", he said. North Korea in the past has kept up a pattern of "entering into a period of negotiations to create the illusion of progress and using that illusion to convince us to alleviate the pressure", McMaster said in a speech at the 19th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) in Seoul on Wednesday.

As to ending the war, he recounts that there was "enough discussion" with President Trump and other United States officials.

Four years on from his last visit to the Korean peninsula, at which he expressed his hope for reunification, Pope Francis is about to get another invitation. -South Korea alliance or as "blackmail" to drive the US off the Korean Peninsula.

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North Korea's suppression of human rights and religious freedom have already been verified and documented numerously.

The regime is one of the most repressive states in the world, but guarantees freedom of religion in its constitution. Defectors say the churches are showcases for propaganda purposes.

The demands are part of the consensus that North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui reached with her Russian and Chinese counterparts, Igor Morgulov and Kong Xuanyou, during their first-ever trilateral talks in Moscow on Tuesday, according to the Korean Central news Agency.

The previous conservative administration of Lee Myung-bak introduced the sanctions to prevent nearly all inter-Korean ties except for humanitarian assistance.

What's certain is that if Pope Francis' visit is realised, it should be an occasion to increase worldwide pressure on the North to improve its human rights situation and religious freedom. "As there are many (bilateral) sanctions overlapping the United Nations ones, it won't necessarily mean the substantive lifting (of sanctions on the North)".

The Korea Herald is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media organisations.

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