Moon Jae-in says North Korea is still committed to USA summit

28 May, 2018, 02:23 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit

The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again summit on track.

After meeting with Trump in Washington on Thursday, the South Korean president returned home and held a surprise in-person meeting with Kim on Saturday in the demilitarized zone. Moon said he told Kim that Trump has a "firm resolve" to end hostile relations with North Korea and initiate economic cooperation if Kim implements "complete denuclearization".

"I emphasized that the two sides must directly communicate in order to eradicate any misunderstandings, and preliminary talks through working-level negotiations on key agendas are necessary", said President Moon at a press briefing in Seoul Sunday.

It looks like Trump didn't tell anyone before he chose to pull out of the summit.

U.S. President Donald Trump look on as he welcomes South Korea's President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2018.

Such moves would be created to reinforce to Kim that he faces more potential economic pain, especially if he takes any provocative action after Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled their planned June 12 summit in Singapore. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore.

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"I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done", he said.

The White House has said that preparations will continue while the final decision on whether to proceed with the summit, scheduled to be held in Singapore, is made.

The Trump administration is demanding that North Korea completely and irreversibly shutter its nuclear weapons program.

This brought a bitter war of words between Mr Trump and the North Korean leadership.

But within 24 hours he said the meeting could still go ahead after productive talks were held with North Korean officials. Moon was accompanied by National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, and Kim Jong-un by Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party.

Moon met with Kim on the North side of the inter-Korean border, in the same village of Panmunjom where the two leaders held a summit in April. And everyone agrees on a work program that they give to their staffs that moves the Korean Peninsula in a direction of being more stable, more transparent, less prone to war.

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He also said that high-level inter-Korean talks would take place on June 1.

The agency said the two leaders had reached a "satisfactory consensus" and expressed "their stand to make joint efforts for the decentralization of the Korean peninsula".

"In contrast (to Kim's concerns) President Trump stated clearly not only that hostile relations will end, but the intent to help (North Korea's) economic development if North Korea denuclearizes", Moon said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia views the cancellation of the US-North Korea summit with "regret", adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had done everything he had promised to do.

Mr Kim has indicated he wants a phased approach, with his steps met by reciprocal ones from the United States and the South - mainly on sanctions but also easing of the USA military presence in South Korea.

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