South Korea’s Moon Jae-in seeks fourth summit with Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Samjiyon guesthouse near Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation, in this September 20, 2018 photo. (Korean Central News Agency via KNS/AFP)
Updated 15 April 2019
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South Korea’s Moon Jae-in seeks fourth summit with Kim Jong Un

  • Moon Jae-in willing to go anywhere to meet Kim Jong Un for a fourth summit
  • Kim Jong Un earlier said he was open to a third meeting with US President Donald Trump if Washington offered ‘mutually acceptable terms’

SEOUL: South Korean President Moon Jae-in is willing to go anywhere to meet Kim Jong Un for a fourth summit, he said Monday, hailing the North Korean leader’s willingness to salvage high-stakes talks with the United States.
Kim said Friday he was open to a third meeting with US President Donald Trump if Washington offered “mutually acceptable terms” after their second summit in Hanoi broke down in part over Pyongyang’s demands for immediate sanctions relief.
Moon, who brokered the talks between Washington and Pyongyang, welcomed Kim’s “firm commitment for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” and called for what would be his fourth meeting with the North’s leader.
“As soon as North Korea is ready, I hope the two Koreas will be able to sit down together, regardless of venue and form,” Moon told a meeting with his top aides.
“I will spare no effort to ensure that the upcoming inter-Korean summit becomes a stepping stone for an even bigger opportunity and a more significant outcome.”
The remarks come after Moon’s brief summit with Trump at the White House last week as he tries to reignite the stalled diplomacy.
Moon, who has long backed engagement with the nuclear-armed North, has been pushing for the resumption of inter-Korean economic projects, but doing so would fall foul of international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.
Trump and Kim held their first landmark summit in Singapore last June, where they signed a vaguely-worded agreement on the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
The failure to reach agreement at their second summit in Hanoi has raised questions over the future of the accord.
Washington has blamed the deadlock on the North’s demands for sanctions relief in return for limited nuclear disarmament, but Pyongyang said it had wanted only some of the measures eased.
In a speech to Pyongyang’s rubber-stamp parliament on Friday, Kim said the Hanoi meeting raised questions about Washington’s intention but added he will wait until the end of the year for the US to make “a courageous decision.”
Trump has welcomed further talks with Kim, insisting their personal relationship was “excellent.”


China’s Xi arrives in North Korea for talks with Kim Jong Un

Updated 18 min 30 sec ago
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China’s Xi arrives in North Korea for talks with Kim Jong Un

  • The summit comes as both Xi and Kim are locked in separate disputes with the United States — Xi over trade and Kim over his nuclear weapons
  • Chinese and North Korea media have said Xi would stay in Pyongyang for two days

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday morning for a two-day state visit to North Korea, where he’s expected to talk with leader Kim Jong Un about the stalled negotiations with Washington over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that Xi was accompanied by his wife, Peng Liyuan, and several Communist Party officials. He is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years.
The summit comes as both Xi and Kim are locked in separate disputes with the United States — Xi over trade and Kim over his nuclear weapons.
A Xinhua commentary said China could play a unique and constructive role in breaking the cycle of mistrust between North Korea and the US so they can work out a roadmap to achieve denuclearization.
The US is demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons development before international sanctions are lifted. North Korea is seeking a step-by-step approach in which a step toward its denuclearization would be matched by a concession from the US, notably a relaxation of economic sanctions.
China backs what it calls a “suspension for suspension” proposal. The Xinhua said both sides “need to have reasonable expectations and refrain from imposing unilateral and unrealistic demands.”
Experts say Xi will likely endorse North Korea’s calls for an incremental disarmament process.
Chinese and North Korea media have said Xi would stay in Pyongyang for two days. His meeting with Kim would their fifth summit since Kim entered nuclear diplomacy with the United States and South Korea early last year.
In an essay published in both countries’ official media before his trip, Xi praised North Korea for moving in the “right direction” by politically resolving issues on the peninsula. He did not mention Kim’s nuclear diplomacy with the US in the article, much of which focused on lauding the neighbors’ seven-decade relationship. Xi said his visit will “strengthen strategic communication and exchange” between the traditional, though sometimes strained, allies.
The nations fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War against the United States, South Korea and their allies, but there has been friction in recent years, especially over the North’s relentless push for nuclear weapons.