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Trump calls North Korea's statement 'warm' and 'productive'

29 May, 2018, 07:11 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Seoul welcomes Trump's latest twist on North Korea

On Monday, White House aides were awaiting word from a United States team of negotiators posted along the Korean Demilitarized Zone for talks with officials from North Korea. Another delegation was in Singapore to discuss logistics.

US President Donald Trump late on Friday said the United States was having "productive talks" about reinstating a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, just a day after he cancelled the meeting citing Pyongyang's "open hostility". It was led by Joe Hagin, White House deputy chief of staff for operations.

"The two leaders frankly exchanged their opinions on implementing the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration [which the two struck in April at their first historic summit] and for the successful staging of a U.S. -NK summit", Blue House spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

The U.S. and North Korea do not have formal diplomatic relations, complicating the task of communicating between the two governments.

A senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit, including a pledge to allow worldwide inspectors to monitor its explosive destruction of its nuclear test site.

Trump announced he was canceling the summit in a letter addressed to Kim on Thursday, but left open the possibility of conducting one in the future.

In previous, failed talks, North Korea said it could consider giving up its arsenal if Washington removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.


Trump rapidly tweeted that the statement was "very good news" and told reporters that "we're talking to them now".

The presence of USA officials in North Korea is raising expectations that a summit between President Donald Trump and the North's Kim Jong Un will take place after all. At an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said it was necessary to ensure security on the Korean peninsula, which touched on China's core interests. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants after halting his nascent nuclear program.

The United States has demanded the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible" dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. USA officials said the most likely document would provide a framework for future negotiations, without going into great detail about what North Korea might be willing to give up or what steps the United States would take in exchange.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chimed in from St. Petersburg, saying that "if you don't behave aggressively and if you don't corner North Korea, the result that we need will be achieved faster than many would think, and at less cost". Sanders, his spokeswoman, told Fox News on May 15: "This is the President Trump model".

She referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" for his earlier comments on North Korea and said it was up to the Americans whether they would "meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown". "We'll see what happens - it could even be the 12th". He noted that his planned meeting with Kim could still take place June 12.

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