Friday, 26 April, 2019

U.S. envoy back from North Korea after talks on Trump-Kim summit

Trump Kim Japan seeks close cooperation with U.S. ahead of 2nd Trump-Kim summit
Leonard Rios | 09 February, 2019, 08:26

Stephen Biegun, the USA special representative for North Korea, landed at a United States air base south of Seoul on Friday evening.

US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol have agreed to conduct a new round of talks ahead of the presidential summit later this month, the Department of State said in a press release.

While in Asia, Stephen Biegun, the USA special representative for North Korea, is thought to have discussed specific disarmament steps that Pyongyang could promise at the Vietnam summit and what corresponding measures the United States is willing to take.

North Korea has been known to parade its missiles through the streets and has aggressively pursued a nuclear program.

It is obvious that the encirclement to cut off North Korea's funding sources has become loose.

But tough sanctions have limited what they can do, with Washington insisting on keeping up economic pressure until North Korea takes stronger steps toward irreversibly and verifiably relinquishing its nuclear weapons.

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According to the U.S. State Department, he'll be meeting with his North Korean counterpart again before the Kim-Trump summit.

At their historic first summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018, Kim Jong Un and Trump made an agreement that the United States would provide security guarantees to North Korea in return for "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

He said Washington was willing to discuss "many actions" to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and that Trump was ready to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Biegun landed at Osan US Air Base Friday evening, foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk told AFP.

From early morning Friday, citizens and military personnel laid flowers and bowed in front of giant statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il, the former leader who died in 2011, on Mansu Hill in the heart of the city. "I am confident if both sides stay committed we can make real progress here", he said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is", Trump said. The Japanese prime minister has voiced his readiness to meet with the North Korean leader in person in an attempt to achieve a breakthrough on his top priority issue.

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