KIM COMMITS: North Korean Leader Says He's 'UNEQUIVOCALLY COMMITTED' to Denuclearization
09 September, 2018, 06:31 | Author: Kim Reid
North Korea's state news agency KCNA, just minutes before the press conference, also published a statement by Kim guaranteeing his pledge to "realise the denuclearization". Kim Il Sung, then 35, delivered a speech and repeatedly cheered on his military and fellow dictator Joseph Stalin.
The next step in nuclear diplomacy is uncertain.
So says South Korean president Moon Jae-in, anyway, who has a big investment in pushing forward on the peace process with Kim Jong-un.
"Chairman Kim emphasized that he has never made a negative comment about Trump", Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's top national security adviser, said at a media briefing on Thursday.
"This trust, despite some difficulties surfaced during the negotiation process between the U.S. and the North, will continue", Chung said on Thursday, acknowledging the recent unpleasantness. The next moment he's all buddy-buddy with Kim Jong-un.
Kim also cited the dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and Dongchang-ri missile launch facility as evidence of his commitment to end nuclear testing permanently, Chung said, The Washington Post reported. Kim said he'd take "more active" measures toward denuclearisation if his moves are met with corresponding goodwill measures, Chung said.
He even expressed regret that the worldwide community does not appreciate such meaningful steps taken by his country, the South Korean envoy said.
All eyes are on whether Kim will make a public speech, and if so, what kind of message he will send as denuclearisation talks have reached an impasse since Singapore.
"Thank you to Chairman Kim".
"Chairman Kim Jong-un reiterated his firm commitment to the complete denuclearization of the peninsula, and expressed his intent to maintain close inter-Korean cooperation, and with the US", Chung said.
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South Korea's liberal government is keen on keeping engagement with North Korea alive. Last month, U.S. military commanders in Seoul also reversed another of Moon's initiatives, namely sending a train across the DMZ and running it on a North Korean railway to test the rails' condition. Trump wrote on Twitter.
Seoul and Pyongyang both want a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice. The resumption of US-North Korea talks sometime before the next inter-Korean summit, which will likely take place in mid-September, could give Moon more to work with when he arrives in Pyongyang. Such steps may include providing an account of the components of its nuclear program, allowing outside inspections and giving up a certain number of its nuclear weapons during the early stages of the negotiations. But interpreting them required several caveats: Kim only said that he wanted to realize denuclearization before early 2021 - not commit to doing it - and he didn't provide a clearer definition for the term, something that has emerged as a sticking point with the U.S.
North Korea and the USA have since cooled their feud as Kim and Trump both extended olive branches this year - culminating in a summit in Singapore.
The development followed a recent halt in negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
Last month, Trump called off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to North Korea - saying in a tweet that the trip was inappropriate at "this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".
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