FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (REUTERS)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will sit down at the border “truce village” of Panmunjom to discuss a range of issues, including Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Days before the upcoming summit, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the North has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions.
Moon also explained that the North has not attached any conditions that the US cannot accept, like the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea.
“Now, North Korea is expressing a will to seek a complete denuclearisation to the international society. Also, they are showing us a will to have dialogues,” said the South Korean president.
North Korea has defended its nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, as a necessary deterrent against perceived US hostility.
The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war.
North Korea has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States will its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.
However, in the latest development, Moon revealed that Pyongyang has expressed willingness to drop its demand that the United States withdraw troops stationed in the South in exchange for denuclearization.
This comes after President Donald Trump announced he is willing to leave the meeting with Kim if it falls short of his expectations. -Reuters
Trump seeks to placate NoKor’s Kim after threat to scrap June 12 summit
FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) photo release of Kim Jong Un on May 10, 2016 and US President Donald Trump posing for a photo on May 17, 2016 in New York City, USA. Reuters / KCNA / Lucas Jackson
US President Donald Trump seeks to placate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday.
This, after Pyongyang, threatened to scrap the summit between the two leaders if Washington continues to insist on the North to end its nuclear program.
Trump says the US would guarantee Kim’s security in any deal, and that he would not suffer the fate of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. It can be noted a senior US official suggested the North should follow the nuclear disarmament model of Libya.
The US president also criticized China, saying the North Korean leader has been possibly influenced by Beijing after the two recent visits Kim made there. — Reuters
North Korea frees three US detainees ahead of Trump summit
Korean-American detainee in Pyongyang Kim Dong Chul, 64, entering news conference room/REUTERS
North Korea has freed three US citizens from prison, according to a tweet from US President Donald Trump.
It is viewed as a goodwill gesture ahead of a historic summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
Trump said he would greet the men when they return with secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has been in Pyongyang to arrange the planned talks.
The White House said Kim Hak-Song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-Chul boarded the plane “without assistance”.
They had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in labor camps. — Reuters
Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping in second surprise visit to China
People watch a TV news report about the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited China this week and met President Xi Jinping, their second encounter in two months amid warming ties between the Cold War allies.
Their talks in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian comes as tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons eases ahead of what would be a historic meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump, as soon as this month, according to the White House.
Kim and Xi discussed relations between their two countries as well as “major issues of common concern”, and Kim restated Pyongyang’s desire to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.
Shortly after the summit was reported, Trump said on Twitter he would speak to Xi by phone about North Korea, where he said: “relationships and trust are building”. — Reuters