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Trump, Japan's Abe to Meet Ahead of Possible US-North Korea Summit

29 May, 2018, 10:33 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Kim may see a meeting with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies

"I was very much looking forward to being there with you", Mr. Trump wrote in his May 24 letter cancelling the summit, which my colleague Professor Bessma Momani aptly said was "a weird love letter and breakup note all wrapped up in one".

For a successful summit, "there's got to be a lot negotiated in advance - and none of that was happening", by US officials, said Victor Cha, former director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council during the second Bush Administration, on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday. "They talk about denuclearization, allow each side to kind of cower within the ambiguity of denuclearization, and then, seriously, begin a process that makes the peninsula less risky than it is today".

Victor Cha, who was President George W. Bush's top advisor on North Korea and was briefly expected to get Trump's nod as ambassador to South Korea, said Sunday he was now confident the summit will take place.

It would be the first time a North Korean leader has ever met a sitting USA president.

Moon said Monday there could be more impromptu talks between the two Koreas in the lead-up to the summit.

His remarks came as South Korean President Moon Jae In said yesterday that Mr Kim was still committed to denuclearisation after their surprise meeting on Saturday.

There could be division under Kim within North Korea's hierarchy about the diplomatic approach to the Americans, according to Bennet.

Moon has insisted Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees. The Washington Post first reported the team met with Choe Son Hui, the North Korean vice foreign minister.

USA and North Korean officials met again Monday at the Korean demilitarized zone. A few hours later, Trump abruptly canceled the summit, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" in recent North Korean comments.

Following an unusually provocative 2017 in which his engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missiles theoretically capable of striking mainland USA cities, Kim has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months.

American officials are now in North Korea to meet with their counterparts in the village of Panmunjom on demilitarized land near the South Korean border.

Kim Yong Chol is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations. The two leaders embraced as Moon departed.

Pyongyang responded that it was ready to meet "at any time, at any format" and that it was Mr. Kim's "fixed will" to go to Singapore as planned.

Both the State Department and South Korea's Foreign Ministry confirmed the team of officials had met at Panmunjom, a village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the Korean border, in order to discuss a potentially historic meeting.

In a meeting with senior secretaries, Mr. Moon announced that more unplanned discussions would occur between North and South Korea.

The President later in the day said the meeting would see the two sides "make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself".

"It's moving along very nicely", Trump told reporters late Saturday when asked for an update. He urged Washington and Pyongyang to resolve their differences through "more direct and closer dialogue between their leaders". The outcome of a summit between two world leaders is usually negotiated before they ever sit down at a table.

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