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.”


Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

Updated 26 June 2019
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Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

  • But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues
  • The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reduce heightened trade tension with India on Wednesday, promising a renewed focus on negotiating improved trade and investment ties between the two nations.
But Pompeo, on a visit to India, gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues ranging from access to Indian markets for leading American companies to New Delhi’s demands for foreign firms to store Indian data in the country, and exports of steel and aluminum to the United States.
The two nations are “friends who can help each other all around the world,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar after they met.
The current differences were expressed “in the spirit of friendship,” he added.
The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance.
In particular, the sudden introduction of new e-commerce rules for foreign investors in February angered the Americans because it showed New Delhi was prepared to move the goalposts to hurt two of the largest US companies, discount retailer Walmart, and Amazon.com Inc.
Walmart last year invested $16 billion to buy control of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
Jaishankar, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, played down the spat on Wednesday.
“If you trade with someone and they are your biggest trading partner, it is impossible you don’t have trade issues,” he said.
India’s ties with Russia and Iran, both now subject to US sanctions, are also a sore point.
US pressure has led India to stop buying oil from Iran, a top energy supplier. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to proceed with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
The missile deal and Iranian oil were both discussed during their meeting, Jaishankar and Pompeo said, but mentioned no resolution of either at the news conference.
Earlier, Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks at his official residence in the capital, New Delhi, and they exchanged handshakes in images broadcast on television.
“The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defense, counterterrorism and people-to-people contacts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.
Pompeo is expected to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the US embassy, before departing on Thursday for a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 nations in Japan.