Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

USA ready 'to engage immediately' with North Korea

Mr Pompeo is arranging meetings with North Korean officials with the aim of completing North Korea’s denuclearisation by January 2021 US ready to restart talks with North Korea immediately, denuclearisation to be completed by early 2021: Pompeo
Faye Gross | 20 September, 2018, 13:56

Earlier today South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a joint press conference in Pyongyang.

According to the New York Times, the two heads of state met on Wednesday, with North Korean officials and citizens lining the streets and waving flags supporting unity on the East Asian peninsula.

Negotiations had stalled since the historic Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in June, when Kim declared his backing for denuclearisation of the peninsula but no details were agreed.

There, Kim promised to allow external inspectors into his country to verify that a missile test and launch site had been permanently dismantled, and also pledged to permanently disable an important nuclear site if the United States also takes "corresponding steps".

Kim said on Wednesday he would visit Seoul in the near future, in what would be the first trip to the southern capital by a North Korean leader. "Prior to becoming president, it looked like we were going to war with North Korea, and now we have a lot of progress", Mr. Trump said. He didn't indicate in his brief remarks whether the US would be willing to take further steps to encourage North Korean action on denuclearization.

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"We absolutely can not let this hard to come by opportunity for peace slip away once again", the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said in a statement.

The statement caps off the third summit between Kim and Moon, who is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in its efforts to get Kim to completely - and unilaterally - abandon his nuclear arsenal.

Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tweeted that the Moon-Kim summit had made the Korean Peninsula safer.

After the two leaders pledged new steps aimed at salvaging nuclear talks on Wednesday, Moon and Kim made a decision to use the final day of their three-day summit to go up the symbolic mountain on the Chinese border together. And they either pocket the concession and then move on to the next demand.

By the end of the day, both leaders had signed a joint agreement supporting the destruction of Kim's nuclear missile facilities, further actions towards officially ending the Korean War once and for all, as well as a plan to pursue a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. It also flows from the North's decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February, which was regarded as a success for both sides. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, who tweeted that he was concerned the visit would undermine efforts by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to impose "maximum pressure" on the North. "North Korea has been clear that they will not give up their nuclear weapons - nothing has changed in this joint statement". Seoul said Moon would make a short speech.

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