North Korea Quiet on Second Trump-Kim Summit

Leroy Wright
February 9, 2019

"What is unique about the next Moon-Kim summit is that it will likely be held in Seoul, which would make Kim the first North Korean leader to visit the South's capital since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War", KJD reported, quoting a letter Kim sent to Moon previous year in which he said he was willing to visit Seoul.

"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse".

There has been no announcement yet of the host city, although it has reportedly been narrowed down to Hanoi or Da Nang.

"We hope that more specific and substantial progress will be made at the planned second summit between the US and the North", Baik said, noting that inter-Korean relations and US-North Korea ties are closely linked, Yonhap news agency reported.

The State Department also said that Biegun and his counterpart had agreed to meet again ahead of the second summit, but gave no indication of any progress in the talks. A foreign ministry official told reporters that the US envoy has promised to brief the South Korean government first, on the details of what was discussed in Pyeongyang.

The announcement came after the top USA envoy to North Korea wrapped up three days of talks with his counterpart in Pyongyang.

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President Trump has been eager for a 2nd Summit despite a lack of significant moves by NKorea to give up its nuclear weapons program. Mr Kim pledged then to work toward the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula, without providing a clear timetable or roadmap.

But North Korea said a year ago that February 8 would be celebrated as the date that the Korean People's Army was founded, as that is the day in 1948 that Kim Il Sung began a transformation that culminated in its establishment. He and Biegun have stressed the economic benefits to North Korea if it does so.

One potential deal could see North Korea agreeing to dismantle key parts of its Nyongbyon nuclear complex, freeze its nuclear program, and allow in inspectors in exchange for the United States granting sanctions exemptions for inter-Korean activities at Kaesong and Diamond Mountain, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University.

"He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is", Trump said.

Pyongyang has repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing USA -led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees. The U.S. envoy is scheduled to travel to the South Korean capital afterward.

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