Two Koreas to hold summit as Kim renews denuclearisation pledge

Kim Jong Un left and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the North and South
Korea Summit Press Pool via AP File
Author

07 September, 2018

Trump's comments came after Kim reportedly said his faith in the U.S. president was unchanged and that Pyongyang aimed to achieve denuclearisation within Trump's first term in office, which is due to end in January 2020.

Since then, neither side has seemed willing to make a substantive move, leading to skepticism over Trump's claims that Kim will really dismantle his nuclear weapons program.

The summit - a third between the two leaders this year - will take place from September 18 to 20 and the dates were decided on Wednesday during a visit by South's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, to Pyongyang, where he met Kim and handed over a personal letter from Moon. "He expressed his strong will to carry out more proactive measures toward denuclearisation if action is taken in response to the North's preemptive steps".

"From Oct. 10 to 14, the USS Ronald Reagan will participate in the 2018 Republic of Korea worldwide naval review, and for this objective will enter Jeju", a South Korea military source said, according to News 1.

Chung also revealed that Kim had expressed exasperation at the global community's doubt over his intentions and its assessment of the steps North Korea had taken.

The phrase "complete denuclearization" - a term long preferred by North Korea - could be read to preclude nuclear-capable US bombers and submarines from operating near South Korea.

Kim told South Korean officials his faith in Trump was "unchanged" and that he wanted denuclearisation and an end to hostile relations with the United States before Trump's first term in office ends in early 2021, Chung said.

Trump is touting the kind words of a despot as his own West Wing is in a meltdown after an anonymous "senior official in the Trump administration" wrote a scandalous op-ed in the New York Times outlining a conspiracy within the administration to keep Trump from doing anything detrimental to the country.

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US President Donald Trump last month even cancelled a trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing a lack of progress in the denuclearisation process.

Seoul and Pyongyang both want a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice.

"He said he's pre-emptively taken steps necessary for denuclearization and wants to see these goodwill measures being met with goodwill measures", added Chung, who met with Kim in Pyongyang on Wednesday. In other words, the North may not move any step forward without a cause like a declaration of an end of the war. Mr. Moon has made an end-of-war declaration an important premise of his peace agenda with North Korea.

"The discussions at the summit will also be centered around issues on the permanent settlement of peace and common prosperity on the Korean Peninsula as well as, particularly, practical measures to realize denuclearization on the Peninsula", he said. Post-summit nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang were rocky and quickly settled into a stalemate.

The United States, however, has said it is committed to building a peace mechanism if North Korea denuclearizes.

Asked about USA intelligence that North Korea was still advancing its weapons programmes, Pompeo noted that Pyongyang had ceased its nuclear tests and test-firing missiles, "which we consider a good thing".

The upcoming summit between Kim and Moon may help break the months-long deadlock after the Singapore summit, said Lim Eul-chul, professor at Kyungnam University's Graduate School of North Korean Studies.


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