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Kim makes first official mention of US-North Korea talks

Kim makes first official mention of US-North Korea talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his first official comment on the recent diplomatic contacts between Pyongyang and the U.S., and also on his summit with the South Korea President on April 27, state media reported on Tuesday.

If the United States insists on more onerous preconditions in the coming weeks, the Trump-Kim summit could yet be derailed - and daylight between the United States and its South Korean ally on the proper path ahead with North Korea could broaden.

North Korea has told the United States it is prepared to discuss "the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" when Kim meets Trump, U.S. officials have said, according to media reports.

A second official said that confirmation had come through direct contact between American and North Korean officials. A big question was whether Kim would be willing to talk about the issue most important to Washington: dismantling his nuclear program.

They appear, however, to be much more low-key this year.

A Trump administration official on Sunday said that the USA had "confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?".

Over past several months, the Trump administration has implemented a "maximum pressure campaign" against the North Korean regime, meeting with several world leaders from surrounding nations to force the DPRK's hand toward paring down - or completely eliminating - their nuclear arsenal.

Americas
North Korea Willing to Give Up Nukes
Americas North Korea Willing to Give Up Nukes

Hearing that the USA has confirmed Kim's willingness to discuss "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", however, is far from a surprise.

The ministry said Russian Federation supports United Nations Security Council resolutions on imposing sanctions on the North, as well as helping resolve the security issue on the Korean Peninsula. "They've said so; we've said so".

But rather than "maximum pressure", it's more like "optimum pressure", said John Delury, an global relations professor at Yonsei University in Seoul. "I think it's going to be a very exciting thing for the world", he said. "He feels confident that he can keep doing what he's doing".

Tension over North Korea's tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile surged past year and raised fears of US military action against Pyongyang.

Delury said that the USA should want Kim to feel confident going into these talks, rather than feeling cornered. "And we don't have fair deals", Trump said.

Whether he's feeling confident enough to strike a deal remains to be seen.

More news: Family, Daughter Reunite 24 Years After She Went Missing


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