Friday, 26 April, 2019

Trump sends letter to Kim Jong

The two Koreas have about one million troops near their border and have yet to reach a peace treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War US, N Korea to hold talks this week after nuclear standoff - media
Leonard Rios | 18 January, 2019, 10:31

The meeting, led by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, is due on Thursday or Friday, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified diplomatic source familiar with the issue.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held three summits with Moon and his first summit with President Donald Trump previous year.

"But there is plenty still to disagree about - as last year's canceled meetings showed - and the US side is aware of criticism leveled at it for the vagueness of the Singapore joint declaration", he continued.

President Trump shakes hands with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of Kim Jong Un's closest aides, after their meeting in the White House on June 1, 2018.

"There really is a potential deal on the table here that involves significant limits on their nuclear and missile arsenal that would help alleviate the threat to the United States and our allies", said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, but, "the Trump administration has always been all or nothing in these negotiations, and so far they've gotten next to nothing".

If the North took concrete steps toward abandoning its weapons programmes, Washington could offer a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, humanitarian aid or a permanent bilateral dialogue channel in return, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Wednesday.

Pyongyang calls for abandoning military exercises involving foreign forces on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Ambassador to Russia Kim Hyun Joong said Tuesday.

The video in question was made last December to stress the need to strengthen cooperation between Washington and Tokyo, and was posted on the website of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on January 5.

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At a conference of USA diplomats at the State Department on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged the lack of progress. Trump admitted he agreed on the spot to pause U.S.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his summit with Kim in Beijing last week, said China was ready to play "a positive and constructive role in maintaining peace and stability", and emphasised his country's role in the Korean peninsula.

Kim Yong Chol last came to the United States in June.

Earlier, the USA president expressed satisfaction over the progress in talks with the North Koreans, saying he is in no rush for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has made dramatic strides in its development of the port of Wonsan into the "world-class" tourist resort that Kim Jong-un has demanded, with hotels, game arcades, a marina, theatres and funfairs sprouting along several miles of the city's beach.

The high-profile trip - reported first by CNN - is thought to be taking place in order to solidify preparations for a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, widely anticipated to be taking place in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi sometime in February or March.

Asked about the prospect of Kim Yong Chol visiting Washington for the second time in less than a year, the U.S. State Department demurred, telling The Japan Times that it did not have any meetings to announce.

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