Kim Jong-un and South Korean president hammer out United States summit plans

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 27, 2018

President Trump's letter to Kim Jong-un, announcing the USA would be pulling out of its long-awaited summit with North Korea, has been dragged on social media.

But on Thursday, just two days after meeting with Moon in Washington, Trump abruptly canceled the summit with Kim, a decision that came as a shock to the South Korean leader, who said, "I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable".

Moon and Kim met just north of the heavily militarised border in the afternoon to exchange views to pave way for a summit between the North and the United States, South Korea's presidential office said.

North Korea issued an unusually restrained and diplomatic response to Mr. Trump, saying it's still willing to sit for talks with the United States "at any time, (in) any format".

However, both President Trump and Kim Jong Un, said they were open to continue the talks, which largely center around the permanent denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. "We'd like to do it".

An advance team of White House and State department officials is still planning on leaving for Singapore tomorrow, to work out logistics for the trip, Politico reports. -North Korea summit a success.

"We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant", Mr Trump wrote. Photos showed that Kim's sister, Yo-jong, widely believed to be a key player in her brother's inner circle, was also present.

The meeting could reduce Seoul's credibility as a US -allied middleman in the talks if the details weren't shared or if Moon strayed from Washington's position, he said. More details were not expected to be released before then. In March, apparently acting on impulse, Trump agreed to the talks with Kim after only limited input from aides.

South Korea, which brokered the talks between Washington and Pyongyang, was caught off guard by Trump's abrupt cancellation of the summit in which he cited hostility in recent North Korean comments.

For the Trump administration, a phased process would replicate past failed aid-for-disarmament deals with North Korea, although Trump himself this past week _ before he canceled the summit _ did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North.

Kim and Trump's initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over the program. The two met on the northern side of the line. North Korea responded Thursday by calling Pence's remarks "ignorant and stupid".

But Pyongyang has vowed it will never give up its nuclear deterrent until it feels safe from what it terms U.S. aggression.

It also was unhappy about the North's failure to allow worldwide observers to verify the dismantling of the Punggye-ri test site, the staging ground for all six of its nuclear tests. Kim Kye Gwan explained that the North's branding of Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" and its warning of a potential nuclear showdown were reactions to "unbridled remarks" by the US side pressing it to unilaterally scrap its atomic program. There, former leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his nascent nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later.

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