Vastavam web: South Korean President Moon Jae-in said today that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed in their surprise meeting to sitting down with President Donald Trump and to a “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”The Korean leaders’ second summit in a month saw bear hugs and broad smiles, but their quickly arranged meeting Saturday appears to highlight a sense of urgency on both sides of the world’s most heavily armed border.The Koreas’ talks, which Moon said Kim requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back-and-forth. They allowed Moon to push for a US-North Korean summit that he sees as the best way to ease animosity that had some fearing a war last year.
Kim may see the sit-down with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.Moon told reporters Sunday that Kim “again made clear his commitment to a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” and that he told the South Korean leader he’s willing to cooperate to end confrontation and work toward peace for the sake of the successful North Korea-US summit.”What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations (with North Korea) and provide a security guarantee if they do denuclearization,” Moon said.
“During the South Korea-US summit, President Trump said the US is willing to clearly put an end to hostile relations (between the US and North Korea) and help (the North) achieve economic prosperity if North Korea conducts denuclearization,” he said.Moon said North Korea and the United States will soon start working-level talks to prepare for the Kim-Trump summit. He said he expects the talks to go smoothly because Pyongyang and Washington both know what they want from each other.They agreed to have their top officials meet again June 1. Moon said military generals and Red Cross officials from the Koreas will also meet separately to discuss how to ease military tensions and resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
Saturday’s Korean summit came hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a Trump-Kim meeting.Despite repeated references to “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” by the North, it remains unclear whether Kim will ever agree to fully abandon his nuclear arsenal.Moon has insisted Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees. Moon said Sunday that the North’s disarmament could be still be a difficult process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don’t differ over what “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula means.
Moon, who brokered the summit between Washington and Pyongyang, likely used Saturday’s meeting to confirm Kim’s willingness to enter nuclear negotiations with Trump and clarify what steps Kim has in mind in the process of denuclearization, said Hong Min, a senior analyst at Seoul’s Korea Institute for National Unification.Some US officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea fully eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later. But Kim, through two summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May, has called for a phased and synchronized process in which every action he takes is met with a reciprocal reward from the United States.
Before he canceled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North.