Friday, 22 June, 2018

White House puts an asterisk on Trump, Kim Jong Un meeting

US attention on Pyongyang is overdue but tough talk will only move the regime so far. Wong Maye-E  AP US attention on Pyongyang is overdue but tough talk will only move the regime so far. Wong Maye-E AP
Charlie Simmons | 10 March, 2018, 01:47

US President Donald Trump said he was prepared to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between the countries' leaders and could mark a breakthrough in a stand-off over the North's nuclear weapons.

Kim Jong Un's decision to invite Donald Trump to a historic summit is evidence that the American leader's efforts to isolate his North Korean counterpart are bearing fruit, US Vice President Mike Pence said today. A senior administration official said days earlier North Korea would need to take "concrete steps" toward denuclearization before the U.S. would agree to talks. "And whether the president will stay the course in these negotiations, I don't know, but I will be supportive and hopeful that he is trying to find a political or a diplomatic solution", says Gillibrand.

Domestic shares tracked broader Asia which rallied on news of the first U.S. - North Korea summit after Kim Jong Un offered to stop nuclear and missile testing.

Xi said he "hopes the United States and North Korea start contacts and dialogue as soon as possible and strive to reach positive results", the report said. The development has also not yet made it into news bulletins on state media.

The meeting is due to take place by the end of May. "Hopefully, the agreement will be implemented", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"We're a long way from negotiations".

Before the White House began setting out conditions for the talks, China and Russian Federation welcomed the prospect of a summit.

A South Korean envoy said in Washington that Trump expressed willingness, and that Kim had expressed commitment to denuclearisation.

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"It essentially provides him equal status with the U.S. president and strengthens his bid to have North Korea be recognized as a de facto nuclear power", said Evan Medeiros, of the Eurasia Group think tank, and a former Asia advisor to Barack Obama.

Sanders claimed those pledges were made with "zero concessions" from the U.S.

In January, Trump and South Korea's Moon agreed to postpone Foal Eagle and Key Resolve during the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang. "And they have said that the goal is denuclearization, but they have not said that denuclearization will occur before this meeting takes place", Countryman said on CNN.

Swift told the Korea Herald Thursday that the exercises would be "the same size, scope and scale" as previous ones, He brushed off Song's comment on nuclear submarines as banter between naval officers.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said hours before Trump's agreement that the U.S. was still a long way from agreeing to direct talks.

The Trump administration has led a worldwide push to tighten global sanctions on North Korea to choke off resources needed for its weapons programs.

That pressure would not abate as the United States heads toward the historic talks, the White House said.

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