Kim Jong-un is Still Interested in Meeting with Trump, According to Moon
The South Korean president urges Pyongyang and Washington to establish a direct line of dialogue.
The summit of Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un recovers life. The North Korean leader maintains his desire to “complete” denuclearization of the peninsula, according to South President Moon Jae-in, after the unexpected inter-Korean summit on Saturday. Almost simultaneously, the US president declared in Washington that the talks “are progressing very well” and that he remains on June 12 as the date for his possible meeting with Kim.
The two Korean leaders agreed to maintain collaboration to make the Singapore summit a success, Moon told reporters at a press conference to explain the results of Saturday’s meeting. The leader of the North stressed, always according to Moon, that the summit would represent an historic opportunity to “close a stage of confrontation”, and was determined to meet with the US president.
Moon and Kim met by surprise during two hours Saturday in Panmunjom, in the border between their two countries, in another one of the intense diplomatic contacts around the appointment of Singapore, that Trump abruptly canceled last Thursday.
The meeting, the fourth of two Korean leaders in history, was held at the initiative of North Korea, which proposed it a day after the US president gave the apparent shelving. Washington was informed of the meeting. According to the South’s head of state, Kim is sincere in his desire to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula, the key to negotiations with the United States.
“Kim Jong-un has firm intentions about the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. What he is not sure about is not the denuclearization, but the hostile policy of Washington towards North Korea, if Washington can really guarantee the stability of his regime, “he declared.
But Moon did not want to confirm if the leader of the North plans to get rid of its nuclear program completely, irreversibly and verifiably, as the United States demands. “It is something that the North and the United States must deal with,” he said, recommending that the leaders of those two countries establish a direct conversation line, similar to the one that has existed for just over a month between the two Korean capitals. The refusal of Pyongyang to accept the demands of the White House, with the argument that it can not feel safe in the face of possible US attacks, has been the ultimate cause of the disagreement with Washington.
If anything has been clear on the roller coaster that have been the negotiations of the last two months, it has been the deep distrust between Washington and Pyongyang. A distrust that has affected Moon: “What (Kim) is not so clear is how you can fully rely on the commitment of the United States to end hostile relations and provide security guarantees for your regime if you decide to denuclearize.”
For the time being, the two Koreas will resume their high-level talks next Friday, June 1, to discuss issues such as future meetings of separated families.
As Trump has indicated in his statements, contacts continue in more ways. A US delegation is traveling to Singapore this weekend to try to meet with North Korean officials, after last week the North did not appear at the scheduled meeting. The tycoon has also alluded to the development of other negotiations, near the White House. “As you know, there are meetings held in a certain location, which I will not name,” he said. “But they would like the location, it’s not that far from here.”
“There are a lot of people working on this,” the White House tenant added. “He is moving very well. We are thinking of June 12 in Singapore. That has not changed. And that’s moving pretty well, so we’ll see what happens. “