Moon's office welcomes renewed hope for US-NK summit

Posted May 29, 2018

"South Korea summit, President Trump clearly emphasized that we may see not only the end of hostile relations but also economic cooperation if North Korea denuclearises", Moon said.

A man passes by a TV screen showing images of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 25, 2018. It was led by Joe Hagin, White House deputy chief of staff for operations.

Earlier on Friday, Trump told reporters the USA and North Korea still wanted to arrange a landmark meeting between the two leaders.

US defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental USA with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other US officials have said they would not tolerate. They allowed Moon to push for a U.S.

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A senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit, including a pledge to allow global inspectors to monitor its explosive destruction of its nuclear test site.

Trump backtracked less than 24 hours later, saying on Friday that a meeting with Kim is still possible for June 12.

"When the senior leaders are basically saying move forward, and that's their message to their working groups, I think there's a good chance" the meeting happens, said John Park, director of the Korea Working Group at Harvard's Kennedy School, who added the most plausible outcome from the talks would be an agreed-upon plan for North Korea to address its nuclear program.

Earlier on Friday, Trump said both countries still wanted to meet in Singapore next month. He said there is a "lot of good will" and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would be "a great thing". Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants after halting his nascent nuclear program.

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In his letter, Trump warned Kim of the United States' greater nuclear might, reminiscent of his tweet a year ago asserting that he had a "much bigger" nuclear button than Kim.While the Trump administration had insisted on North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear program, Pyongyang had always couched its language in terms of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Moon said North Korea was not convinced it could trust security guarantees from the United States.

Trump on Thursday scrapped the summit after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

Trump dismissed the so-called Libya model. Rekindling hopes as quickly as he had doused them, Trump said it was even possible the meeting could take place on the originally planned June 12 date.

Moon told reporters that Kim said he's willing to cooperate to end confrontation and work toward peace for the sake of the successful summit with Trump. "We even inwardly hoped that what is called "Trump formula" would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue", he said.

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