World leaders welcome Trump, Kim talks

Violet Powell
March 10, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in sounded a note of caution Wednesday over the North's offer of denuclearisation talks, saying it was "too early to be optimistic", even as USA leader Donald Trump welcomed the development.

If genuine, the development represent a remarkable about-face by the North Korean leader, who within the previous year has exploded what was widely believed to be a hydrogen bomb, and has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles meant to have US cities within range - New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. North Korea is feeling more isolated. This question needs answering.

"I'm glad that you are acknowledging a lot of problems of North Korea because just a couple weeks ago, a lot of members in the press were actually elevating North Korea and some of the members of the regime and comparing them to people in the United States and in this administration". It's not even clear if Kim has ever left his country while leader. The talks could fall apart and increase the possibility of military action on the Korean Peninsula.

But Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there was no change in Tokyo's policy of imposing "maximum pressure" on the North over its nuclear and missile programmes.

-South Korean military drills, said Chung, who was in Washington to brief Trump and senior USA officials on Seoul's recent talks with the North. His Florida Mar-a-Lago estate?

The news of a U.S. North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons in 2005 during the so-called "six-party talks", then restarted its program three years later. Stay in power, get the 20,000 American troops deployed in South Korea to leave the Korean peninsula, and ultimately bring South Korea under Pyongyang's rule.

Chung Eui-yong spoke outside the White House after a day of briefings with senior USA officials, including Trump, on the recent inter-Korea talks. He has not been replaced.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games were held last month
The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games were held last month

The talks will take some weeks to arrange, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Past talks and deals with the North had failed to result in its denuclearisation, he pointed out, after defence minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters: "We still don't know clearly North Korea's intention".

Trump will need to be "very prepared going into this with Kim Jong Un", Kinzinger added. He says he will "surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U".

"We don't even have an ambassador to South Korea", said Sanders, likely referring to the fact that the nomination of Victor Cha, Trump's original pick, was rescinded last month after Cha expressed opposition to the administration's proposal for a military strike.

There is a danger that in rushing into a meeting with Kim, Trump could be manipulated for a photo opportunity with a leader whose real intentions are hard to discern.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the foreign minister said her government is consulting with the United States on the details of the high-stakes meeting.

However, it is inconclusive that Pyongyang has completely reversed its earlier position on the nuclear issue. "He's inviting him to be treated as an equal to the United States of America - a goal sought by every Kim since North Korea began its nuclear program", Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in nuclear non-proliferation and Asian security, told the Associated Press.

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