07 Sep 2018
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has given his first time line for denuclearisation, aiming for the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term, Seoul officials said on Thursday, prompting thanks from Trump who said they would “get it done together”.
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 for a third summit and discuss “practical measures” towards denuclearisation, Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said a day after meeting Kim.
The summit could provide renewed momentum to talks over denuclearisation between North Korea and the United States, after Trump cancelled a visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month citing lack of progress.
Kim told South Korean officials his faith in Trump was “unchanged” and that he wanted denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and an end to hostile relations with the United States before Trump’s first term ends in early 2021, Chung said.
But there was no indication that Kim had offered concrete steps towards giving up his nuclear arsenal, something some U.S. officials have said privately they doubt he is willing to do.
“He particularly emphasised that he has never said anything negative about President Trump,” Chung said.
Trump welcomed Kim’s remarks in a trademark Tweet.
“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” Trump wrote.
Trump had previously hailed his landmark June 12 summit with Kim as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite little evidence to back that assertion.
In previous, failed talks, North Korea has said it could consider giving up its nuclear programme if the United States provided security guarantees by removing troops from South Korea and withdrawing its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from the South and Japan.
– By Hyonhee Shin, Susan Heavey, Reuters, 5 September 2018.
Link to Reuters.
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