Friday, 9 March 2018

Trump ready to meet Kim ‘by May’

Trump ready to meet Kim ‘by May’ after N. Korean leader says he wants to talk denuclearization

8 March, 2018

US President Donald Trump has been invited to meet in person with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a senior South Korean official has announced after a meeting at the White House.

Kim said he is committed to denuclearization and said North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests, South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong announced on Thursday evening at the White House.
Trump responded that he will “meet Kim by May,” Chung dded.

Chung made the surprise announcement after meeting with Trump and the US national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday. He credited Trump’s leadership and the US policy of “maximum pressure” for bringing North Korea to the table.

The Republic of Korea and its allies “stand united in insisting we do not repeat mistakes of the past,” Chung said, declining to take questions from the press.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet with Kim at the end of April in the demilitarized zone (DMZ). “Many critical moments are ahead,” Moon said Thursday.

The Korean peninsula has been divided since 1953, after an uneasy armistice suspended the bloody three-year conflict between the Communist North and the US-allied South that at one point involved both US and Chinese militaries. Last month, North and South Korean athletes competed together at the Winter Olympics in Pyeеngchang.

Despite the unprecedented level of negotiations between the two Koreas, which began with Kim’s New Year address seeking better ties with Seoul, Trump’s administration has put massive military and economic pressure on Pyongyang in recent months. On February 23, the US introduced a new package of sanctions on North Korea. Trump also repeatedly warned that, if sanctions do not work, the US will look at a “phase two” of action against Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, Trump once again praised his administration’s tough stance for recent diplomatic concessions made by Pyongyang and Seoul, noting that Pyongyang’s intentions for reconciliation seem “sincere” – but only because of the economic pressure. At the same time, the White House made clear that “maximum pressure” will be exerted on North Korea until concrete steps are taken towards “credible and verifiable” denuclearization.

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