Kim Says Still Committed to Complete Denuclearization, Summit With Trump

Posted May 28, 2018

North Korea watchers say that a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un is still "highly likely" to occur despite the president cancelling the highly anticipated talks last week.

A TV screen in the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea shows file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

Citing a ranking government official in South Korea's presidential office, the news agency said early Monday morning the decision would depend on how discussions proceed with US and North Korean officials who are now planning the meeting.

The United States and North Korea on Sunday kicked off an urgent, behind-the-scenes effort to resurrect a summit meeting between their two leaders by June 12, racing to develop a joint agenda and dispel deep scepticism about the chances for reaching a framework for a lasting nuclear agreement in so little time.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", he tweeted.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Saturday at the Panmunjom border truce village, in a surprise bid to salvage the June 12 summit planned for Singapore.

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"I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done", Mr. Trump said. "I think there's a lot of goodwill".

"It's moving along very nicely", Trump said at the White House on Saturday.

USA lawmakers said that while renewed discussions about the Trump-Kim summit are a positive step, the US can't give away too much and should be wary of any supposed commitments coming from Mr. Kim. We're looking at June 12 in Singapore.

Mr Trump had rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Mr Kim, citing "open hostility" from the Pyongyang regime.

"We continue to prepare for a meeting between the President and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un", she said.

"I urge North Korea and the confirm each other's will by sharing their problems with each other and communicating directly", Moon added.

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In previous failed talks, North Korea said it could consider giving up its arsenal if Washington removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

Former US ambassador to South Korea and nuclear negotiator with the North, Sung Kim, was recalled from his post as Philippines ambassador to lead the preparations, US media reported Monday morning. "The biggest challenge is for the worldwide community to jointly prevent North Korea from evading sanctions", Kono told reporters during a visit to Yamagata Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

Moon was also contacted on Friday by North Korea. "That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens".

But within 24 hours he reversed course, saying it could still go ahead after productive talks were held with North Korean officials.

But Mr. Moon also made clear that any steps to dial back Mr. Kim's nuclear capabilities could come with strings attached.

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