North Korea seeks to denuclearize in Trump's first term, Seoul officials say

06 September, 2018, 21:27 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Koreas Set Next Kim-Moon Summit for Mid-September

President Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday for his "unwavering faith" in him despite a breakdown in negotiations between the two countries about the rogue regime's denuclearization.

Chung reported that Kim said he wishes for North Korea and the United States to put an end to their seven decades of hostile relations before the end of Trump's first term.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters that Kim committed to taking "more active" measures to denuclearize if the worldwide community responds with goodwill gestures in negotiations, according to the news service.

"(The countries) agreed to discuss specific ways to built their mutual trust and prevent armed conflicts while continuing their ongoing talks on reducing military tension at the South-North Korean summit", Chung said.

"This was meant to be set up in August but delayed because of the troubled negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington".

Kim told the South Korean officials that his faith in Trump remains "unchanged" and he wanted to denuclearise and end long-standing hostile relations between North Korea and the United States during Trump's first term ending early 2021, Chung said.

Still, the South Korean envoy quoted the North Korean leader as saying he hoped to completely denuclearize and end the hostile relationship between his country and the USA before Trump's first term ends in January 2021.

Any progress could depend on whether Moon's envoys were able to coax a stronger verbal commitment from North Korea on denuclearization to help put the nuclear talks between the United States and Pyongyang back on track.

The North Korean dictator wants to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula before Trump finishes his term, according to South Korean officials.

The summit, from 18-20 September, will be the third inter-Korean summit this year.

Last month, President Trump cancelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea.

Kim insisted that formally ending the Korean War had nothing to do with USA troops stationed in South Korea, Chung said.

News 1 reported Thursday the biggest USA warship based in Asia could arrive in South Korea for joint exercises.

Kim stressed to Chung that North Korea's nuclear tests have become permanently impossible at Poongye-ri as two-thirds of its tunnel is destroyed.

Kim also said an end-of-war declaration that Seoul and Pyongyang have been pushing Washington to sign off on wouldn't weaken the US-South Korean alliance or lead to the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea to prevent North Korean attack, according to Chung.

The trove of comments from Mr. Kim was filtered through his propaganda specialists in Pyongyang and the South Korean government, which is keen on keeping engagement alive.

The United States, however, has said it is committed to building a peace mechanism if North Korea denuclearizes.

Talks between North and South Korea, however, have continued ever since the first Kim-Moon meeting in April.

Seoul and Pyongyang both want a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice.

According to the South Koreans, despite the hard negotiations Kim never spoke ill of President Trump and said he still wants to end his country's hostile relationship with the the end of Mr. Trump's first term.



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