S.Korea willing to help realize US-N.Korea summit

Lucy Bush
June 1, 2018

Nearly as soon as Pompeo started talking about his plan to rebuild North Korea's economy, Kim Kye Gwan, the North's first vice foreign minister, shot back that Pyongyang has no interest in that kind of help, saying, "We have never had any expectation of USA support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, too". Kim and Trump's initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

A team led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin is scheduled to be in Singapore this weekend, meeting with North Korean officials to plan for the June 12 summit.

Kim's visit to the United States comes as USA and North Korean officials are holding pre-summit meetings both at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the northern side of the inter-Korean demilitarized zone, and in Singapore.

A USA official told the Journal on Monday that the White House had been set to announce the sanctions as soon as Tuesday but will now delay them indefinitely as negotiations with North Korea continue, reports The Hill.

On Thursday, Trump called off the June 12 summit with Kim, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" from North Korea as the reason why the meeting would be inappropriate to hold. He is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, according to US officials familiar with the planning.

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Kim Yong-chol, director of North Korea's United Front Department, which is responsible for inter-Korean relations, was spotted in Beijing Tuesday, en route to NY where he could hold talks with USA officials to fine-tune details for a possible summit next month.

"The United States continues to actively prepare for President Trump's expected summit with leader Kim in Singapore", she said in a statement Tuesday. The group first met with their counterparts Sunday, and was seen leaving a Seoul hotel on Tuesday, but it was unclear whether they went to Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border inside the Demilitarized Zone. Sung Kim, the former USA ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led the US delegation, an official told Reuters.

In October 2000, then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the late dictator father of Kim Jong Un, sent Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok to Washington on a then-unprecedented goodwill mission. He later reversed his position, voicing eagerness to still hold the summit as planned on June 12 in Singapore.

During his tenure as a senior intelligence official, Kim was accused by South Korea of masterminding deadly attacks on a South Korean navy ship and an island in 2010.

Even so, the North's perceived thirst for USA economic aid has consistently been the message coming from Trump and his senior officials.

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Kim Yong Chol's trip comes amid two sets of other pre-summit talks between Washington and Pyongyang. During that period North Korea ramped up its hacking programmes, including a hugely costly penetration of Sony Pictures that was seen as an attempt to stop the release of an American comedy film poking fun at the Kim Jong Un regime.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

In Kim Jong Un and Moon's first meeting on April 27, they agreed to seek the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula but did not define what that meant or how that would proceed.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against what it sees as US aggression. North Korea and the United States are still technically at war and have no diplomatic ties because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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