North - South Korea

angelburst29

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10.06.2018 - Kim Jong-un Departs for Singapore Summit - Reports
Kim Jong-un Departs for Singapore Summit - Reports

According to the Yonhap News Agency, an Air China airplane was detected departing from the airport in Pyongyang at 08:30 a.m. local time.

Kim Jong-un has boarded a Chinese private Boeing 747 jet commonly used by high-ranking Chinese officials, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing sources.

The popular plane tracking online source Flightradar24, however, reportedly did not specify the destination of the aircraft. The website has also not detected any other flights departing from North Korea. According to Yonhap, many government chartered planes are known to keep their routes secret due to security issues.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has also departed for Singapore, where he is expected to meet with the North Korean leader on Tuesday, the White House said on Saturday. Trump took off from Canada on Saturday, after participating in the Group of Seven (G7) summit, and is expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News agency, citing a diplomatic source, the North Korean leader will arrive in Singapore on Sunday

Earlier, a South Korean Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese fighter jets would secure Kim's flight route to the historic meeting.

The US - North Korea Summit will mark the first-ever meeting of the leaders of the two countries. The highly-anticipated talks were put at risk following Trump's May 24 declaration that he was canceling the meeting with Kim over Pyongyang's hostile rhetoric. Last week, however, Trump reinstated the summit after meeting with Kim's top aide, Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.


09.06.2018 - Make N Korea Great Again: Trump Says Kim Can Truly Make His Country Great
Make N Korea Great Again: Trump Says Kim Can Truly Make His Country Great

US President Donald Trump has assessed highly North Korea's efforts to prepare for the upcoming US-North Korea summit.

We appreciate everything what is going on. We appreciate working together with North Korea. They are really working very well with us," Trump told reporters at a press conference in Quebec, adding that he was looking forward for the meeting.

Trump further noted that his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore as a "mission of peace."

"This is unknown territory in the truest sense. But I feel really confident," Trump told reporters. "It's never been done, It's never been tested. So we are going in with a really positive spirit."

At the same time, the US president thinks that Kim Jong-un can make North Korea great. Trump noted that he would know "within a minute" whether Kim was serious about giving up weapons.

"I think within the first minute I'll know. Just my touch, my feel. That's what I do," Trump told reporters at a news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec. "And if I think it won't happen — I'm not going to waste my time. I don't want to waste his time."

The highly-anticipated meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for next Tuesday.


09.06.2018 - Lavrov: US-N Korea Talks to Address Issue of Peace Deal Between Seoul, Pyongyang
Lavrov: US-N Korea Talks to Address Issue of Peace Deal Between Seoul, Pyongyang

The upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will address the issue of a peace treaty between Seoul and Pyongyang, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

"They will discuss, among other issues, a peace treaty, so everything is developing in the line with the Russian-Chinese road map," Lavrov told reporters.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that denuclearization should not be the only goal of the talks.

"At the final stage, the sides should not only reach an agreement on the peace on the Korean Peninsula and its denuclearization but on establishing peace and stability in the Northeastern Asia in general. This is exactly what has been announced by the parties to the negotiations, which are the two Koreas and the United States," Lavrov stressed.

On June 12, Trump and Kim are expected to meet in Singapore. The meeting has become possible as result of the improving relations between Seoul and Pyongyang. In January, Kim decided to initiate talks with the South Korean side amid the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The relations further improved in April, when Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the truce village of Panmunjom at the border between the two Koreas. The two leaders agreed to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons and sign a peace agreement sometime this year.


06.06.2018 - 'Unprecedented Steps': Putin Hopes for Positive Outcome of US-North Korea Summit
'Unprecedented Steps': Putin Hopes for Positive Outcome of US-North Korea Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the decision of US President Donald Trump to meet with the North Korean leader a wise decision and expressed hope that the meeting will have a positive result.

"US President Trump took a strong and mature decision to enter into direct dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and I hope that this meeting will take place, and all of us expect positive results," Putin suggested in an interview with the China Media Group, published on its website.

However, North Korea's steps on easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula were unexpected, but the security guarantees were yet unclear, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Honestly, we see that North Korean leadership takes unexpected, even unprecedented steps to ease tensions," Putin said in an interview with the China Media Group.

Vladimir Putin also noted that he understood the North Korean leadership's security assurances, but their nature was not clear.

I can understand the North Korean leadership when it says about absolute security guarantees for a full denuclearization… It is difficult to say now what kind of guarantees might it be, as well as the terms of their implementation," Putin added.

Russian President is set to visit China on June 8-10. During his visit he is expected to hold talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and take part in the summit of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states.


27.05.2018 - China Supports US-North Korea Summit Amid Resumption of Preparations
China Supports US-North Korean Summit Amid Resumption of Preparations

China strongly supports the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea and hopes that the event will yield positive results amid the on-and-off plans to hold it, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Sunday, as quoted by the Xinhua news agency.

"China unwaveringly supports the hosting of the North-US summit … We hope both the North and the United States show patience and good faith to focus on resolving concerns and carry out the process to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula," Lu stated.

Beijing believes that the real-life dialogue between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "the key" to the settlement of the nuclear crisis, the spokesman added.
 

angelburst29

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10.06.2018 - Singapore to Spend Around $20Mln on Kim-Trump Summit - Prime Minister
Singapore to Spend Around $20Mln on Kim-Trump Summit - Prime Minister

Singapore will spend an estimated $20 million for security and other expenses incurred by a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the island nation's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

If you ask me how much this will come to… I would say plus or minus around $20 million," Lee told reporters. "We may be able to recoup a little bit of that, but i think it is a cost which we are willing to pay and it's our contribution to an international endeavor that's in our profound national interest."

Lee said the money would be used to maintain enhanced security and communications during the summit.

Despite the hefty costs, Lee said the summit would boost Singapore's status on the international stage.

"It gives us publicity. The fact that we have been chosen as the site of the meeting — we did not ask for it, but we were asked and we agreed — says something about Singapore's relations with the parties, with America, with North Korea, also our standing in the international community," he said.


10.06.2018 - Singapore Police Tighten Security Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit
Singapore Police Tighten Security Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit

Police in Singapore closed roads and ratcheted up security measures as the island nation prepared to host a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"In support of the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit, road closures will be effected along roads in the vicinity of Changi Airport towards Tanglin Road," the Singapore Police Force said in a statement.

Concrete barriers and security checkpoints were erected at various locations on Sentosa island, including the summit venue at the Capella Hotel, and the Shangri-la Hotel, where Trump is expected to stay

Singapore's Ministry for Home Affairs has declared the summit an "Enhanced Security Special Event" under the country's Public Order Act.

Singapore has received no intelligence of potential threats to security amid a high-profile summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Singaporean Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam told Sputnik.


10.06.2018 - Kim Jong-un Arrived for Singapore Summit (Video - Photos)
Kim Jong-un Arrived for Singapore Summit (PHOTO, VIDEO)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Singapore ahead of a historic summit with US President Donald Trump.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to his country ahead of a highly anticipated summit with US President Donald Trump.

The two leaders shared a historic handshake in front of reporters before retreating to private quarters for one-on-one talks.

"Prime Minister Lee welcomed Chairman Kim to Singapore. Prime Minister Lee and Chairman Kim discussed Singapore-DPRK relations, developments in the DPRK and regional developments, including the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula," the statement issued by the Singaporean Foreign Ministry following the talks said.

According to the statement, the Singaporean prime minister noted the "bold and admirable" decision of the US and North Korean leaders to organize a bilateral summit and expressed his hope that the event will contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.


10.06.2018 - Trump Arrives in Singapore for Talks With North Korea's Kim
Trump Arrives in Singapore for Talks With North Korea's Kim

US President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump arrived aboard Air Force One at Paya Lebar Airbase at around 8:30 p.m. local time (12:30 GMT) and is expected to meet with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long on Monday, the Singaporean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Trump and Kim will meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. for talks on denuclearization at the Capella hotel on Sentosa island.


10.06.2018 - North Korea summit: President Trump arrives in Singapore for historic talks (CBS Video - 7:35 min.)
North Korea summit: President Trump arrives in Singapore for historic talks

Mr. Trump landed at 8:21 p.m. local time at the Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore before making his way to the Shangri-La Hotel. Kim arrived earlier Sunday. After departing Air Force One, Mr. Trump shook hands with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the entire Singapore delegation on the tarmac. When asked by reporters how he felt about the summit, Mr. Trump replied, "very good."


10.06.2018 - US, North Korean Representatives to Meet in Singapore on Monday - White House
US, North Korean Representatives to Meet in Singapore on Monday – White House

Representatives of the United States and North Korea will hold a meeting on Monday in Singapore ahead of the historic talks between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which are scheduled for Tuesday, the White House said Sunday.

“Tomorrow morning [on Monday], at 10 a.m. local Singapore time [02:00 GMT], [US] Ambassador [to the Philippines] Sung Kim will lead a U.S. delegation for a working group [meeting] with a North Korean delegation at the Ritz Carlton,” the White House said.

On Monday, Trump is expected to meet with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, who had already held talks with Kim upon latter’s arrival.


10.06.2018 - S. Korean President Dispatches Aide to Trump-Kim Talks in Singapore - Reports
S. Korean President Dispatches Aide to Trump-Kim Talks in Singapore - Reports

The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent Nam Gwan-pyo, the deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, and other senior officials to Singapore ahead of the historic summit between the United States and North Korea, Korea Herald newspaper reported.

It was highly unlikely that Moon would travel to Singapore to join the talks, the newspaper reported, citing a South Korean presidential administration official speaking on the conditions of anonymity. The official told reporters that Seoul was "praying for the success of the US-North Korea summit."

"While watching the situation closely, we will maintain close coordination [with officials holding the US-North Korea summit]," Nam Gwan-pyo told reporters before boarding a Singapore-bound plane on Sunday, as quoted by the outlet.

South Korean officials were engaged as mediators in the talks between Washington and Pyongyang devoted to the preparations for the long-anticipated talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


11.06.2018 - Trump-Kim Summit Agenda: Firm Peace, Korean Denuclearization - Reports
Trump-Kim Summit Agenda: Firm Peace, Korean Denuclearization - Reports

According to Reuters, the DPRK's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump will discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean Peninsula, as well as denuclearization.

According to Bloomberg, Trump will attempt to conduct a one-on-one meeting with the North Korean leader at the beginning of the historic summit. According to the media outlet, citing sources, the US president has asserted that this would be a crucial moment of whether a deal with Pyongyang is likely.

Kim Jong-un is reportedly accompanied by his foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, defense minister No Kwang Chol and sister Kim Yo Jong.

According to South Korean media reports, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in has dispatched his senior officials to Singapore in a bid to aid the upcoming summit.
 

angelburst29

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According to the South Korean media outlet, ahead of a historic summit in Singapore North Korean leader has invited US President Donald Trump to Pyongyang for the second round of summit in July.

11.06.2018 - Kim Jong-un Invites Trump to Pyongyang for Second Round of Summit - Reports
Kim Jong-un Invites Trump to Pyongyang for Second Round of Summit - Reports

The invitation to Pyongyang contained in the letter, which was handed by Kim Jong-un's top aide Kim Yong Chol to the US President Trump on June 1, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing its sources privy to the matter.

In turn, North Korean state media reported on Monday that the upcoming US-North Korean talks would focus on the establishment of the new relations between the countries, the creation of a firm peace system and the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

According to Kyodo news agency, depending on the outcome of the negotiations in Singapore and possible summit in Pyongyang, a third round of talks may take place in Washington in September.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Washington remained committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Early pre-brief with my @StateDept team. [US] Amb[assador to the Philippines Sung] Kim meets with #DPRK [delegation] today. We remain committed to the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

The meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to kick-off at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday. The historic event is precede by the meeting of delegations of the United States and North Korea on Monday.
 

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Sen. Lindsey Graham Calls for War in Korea if Kim Doesn’t Agree to Complete Denuclearization
https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/sen-lindsey-graham-calls-war-korea-if-kim-doesnt-agree-complete
June 10, 2018 | 6:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) -
Sen. Lindsey Graham said on ABC News’s “This Week” today that the United States should go to war against North Korea if North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un does not agree to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“There’s really only two options: peace or war,” Graham said.

Graham indicated that he has already prepared an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that would authorize the president to go to war against North Korea if they do not give up their nuclear program and that he is hoping Senate Democrats will join him in backing that AUMF if President Trump’s efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea’s program fail.

“But here is what I would say to my Democratic colleagues: I appreciate you telling the president what a good deal would look like, but the country needs you to back the president up to get that deal,” said Graham.

“So, here’s the question for my Democratic colleagues: If diplomacy fails, will you support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China things are going to be different this time,” said Graham. “A bipartisan AUMF would really make that letter much more credible. And if diplomacy fails, as a last resort, Democrats and Republicans need to put the military option on the table or we will never get a good deal.”

Here is the full transcript of Graham’s exchange with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in which Graham explains his call for the use of military force in North Korea if North Korea does not agree to complete nuclear disarmament:

Stephanopoulos: “I know you’ve spoken to the president several times about this summit. What’s your counsel? Is he ready? Does he know what he wants to get out of this meeting?"

Graham: “Yeah, I think he is very much ready. I think what he is going to convey to North Korea is he wants a peaceful resolution to the nuclear threat as well as to end the Korean War. But the goal is to eliminate their nuclear missile program, not contain it. Do it in a win-win fashion. There’s three outcomes here: Peace, where we have a win-win solution. Military force, where we devastate the North Korean regime and stop their program by force. Or to capitulate like we have done in the past, and Donald Trump is not going to capitulate. So, there’s really only two options: peace or war."

Stephanopoulos: "And, as you know, several of your Democratic colleagues in the Senate have sent the president a letter designed, I guess, to stiffen his spine. Very tough letter, saying that the outcome has to be complete denuclearization. No more testing, weapons dismantled. Here is what they write: ‘Any deal that explicitly or implicitly gives North Korea sanctions relief for anything other than verifiable performance of its obligation to dismantle its nuclear and missile arsenal is a bad deal.’ Do you agree?"

Graham: "A hundred percent. And I think they will be getting a call from the president. I wish they had sent such a deal—letter—to Barack Obama regarding the Iranian nuclear efforts. But I embrace this letter. It is a very tough thing to accomplish. But here is what I would say to my Democratic colleagues: I appreciate you telling the president what a good deal would look like, but the country needs you to back the president up to get that deal. So, here’s the question for my Democratic colleagues: If diplomacy fails, will you support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China things are going to be different this time. A bipartisan AUMF would really make that letter much more credible. And if diplomacy fails, as a last resort, Democrats and Republicans need to put the military option on the table or we will never get a good deal."


Stephanopoulos: "So, if you’re ready to move forward on that what would you need to see on Tuesday to prevent you from moving forward to that use of force authorization?"​

Graham: "We’ll know diplomatic failure when we see it. I don’t expect a deal next Tuesday. I expect a process to be started next Tuesday. Here is what I expect: North Korea will try to run out the clock. It is not if they have to give up their nuclear missile program, it is how and when. The how is a win-win peace agreement where they get security in return for giving up their program when. I think the president wants this to come to an end in his first term. They understand electoral politics in North Korea of the United States. They always try to run out a president in terms of the time on his watch. That’s not going to happen here. So, we’ll find out in about a year if this is going to work, and I have an AUMF already drafted. I hope I never have to use it. But if you want to convince North Korea and China that things are different with Trump, then the Congress needs to have his back."

Stephanopoulos: "But, Senator Graham, as you know, the top expert in the United States on the North Korean nuclear weapons program says it’s going to take 15 years to fully dismantle that North Korean program."​

Graham: "Yeah, what I am saying here is that you’ll have a deal one way or another in his first term that can be implemented in a way that we all believe. I don’t know how long it took them to get where they are at. I don’t think fifteen years is on the table, but I don’t expect it to be done in one year. But, what I do expect to be done in a year from now is an agreement that does dismantle their nuclear weapons programs, their missiles, removes all plutonium and uranium, anytime, anywhere inspections. And we’re not going to let them run out the clock again. They talk about giving up, but they end up building up. It’s as old as time itself as to what North Korea does. They promise a bunch of things and then they back out. Trump is going to call the question on North Korea while he is president of the United States. He’s not going to pass this on to the next president of the United States. There is no reason they can’t give up their nuclear weapons program within fifteen years.”

Fox News Published on Jun 10, 2018 / 4:05
President Trump downplays expectations for nuclear summit with North Korea's leader; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports from Singapore.
 

angelburst29

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11.06.2018 - South Korea, US Presidents Hold Phone Talks Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit - Reports
South Korean, US Presidents Hold Phone Talks Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit – Reports

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has held a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump ahead of a much-anticipated summit of the latter with the North Korean leader, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing Moon’s presidential office.

During the negotiations, Trump and Kim are expected to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization and the possibility of establishing bilateral diplomatic relations, among other issues.

South Korean officials were engaged as mediators in the talks between Washington and Pyongyang devoted to the preparations for the long-anticipated talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


11.06.2018 - Singapore's PM Says Kim 'Wants to Go Onto New Path' Meeting With Trump
Singapore's PM Says Kim ‘Wants to Go Onto New Path’ Meeting With Trump

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ‘wants to go onto a new path’ by meeting with US President Donald Trump.

"He is a confident, young leader. He came and he said ‘thank you for hosting and we hope that will be a historic occasion.’ I think he wants to go onto a new path. What he is prepared to deal and how an agreement can be worked out, that is a complicated matter. But I think he has an intention to do something, and that is why he is meeting Donald Trump," Lee said in an interview with US journalist Christiane Amanpour.

On Sunday, the Singaporean prime minister met with Kim following latter’s arrival in the country for the upcoming talks with Trump, scheduled for Tuesday.


11.06.2018 - Guterres: UN Ready to Play Verification Role in N Korea Denuclearization Process
Guterres: UN Ready to Play Verification Role in N Korea Denuclearization Process

The United Nations (UN) is ready to play a verification role in the process to denuclearize the Korean peninsula upon the request of interested parties, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a press release on Monday.

"Relevant parts of the United Nations system stand ready to support this process in any way, including verification if requested by the key parties," Guterres said ahead of Tuesday’s historic meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The UN chief said the International Atomic Energy Agency plays a critical role in verification and has a mandate to apply safeguards on all nuclear material used for peaceful purposes as well as material removed from military programs.

Guterres also said he hopes Trump and Kim seek a breakthrough and avoid the rhetoric that alarmed the world in recent months. The Singapore summit, he added, could be a promising development towards global peace and security.

In addition, Guterres underscored the importance of the diplomatic process in denuclearization and encouraged the international community to support the North Korean people.
 

angelburst29

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12.06.2018 - Historic Trump-Kim Summit Begins in Singapore
Historic Trump-Kim Summit Begins in Singapore

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shook hands with each other for the first time, before kicking off negotiations aiming to bring complete denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.

Trump and Kim are expected to first engage in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, before expanding to a bilateral meeting and a working lunch. US officials expected to take part in the expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch.

In in his first comments alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un US President Donald Trump said that their summit will bring a "tremendous success."

"We are going to have a great discussion. It's gonna be a tremendous success. We will have a terrific relation," Trump told reporters after greeting Kim at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island.

The North Korean leader said that the meeting became possible as parties overcame obstacles on the way forward.

"The way to come here was not easy. The past falters in our names and the old prejudices and practices work as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them," Kim stated.

"That’s true," Trump said in response.

Later, Donald Trump called his historic bilateral meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un very useful adding that they will help to solve "big problem."

"We will solve a big problem, a big dilemma," Trump said after the meeting with Kim adding that the meeting was "very, very good."

The meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un lasted for about 45 minutes as it was initially planned. After the one-on-one meeting concluded the parties moved on to the summit in an expanded format.

The US delegation includes State Secretary Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. The North Korean delegation, in turn, comprises Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party, and Ri Su Yong, the Workers’ Party's top official for international affairs.

Meanwhile, local media reported that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un said following one-on-one meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore that he was interested in developing close cooperation with the US president.

According to The Straits Times newspaper, Kim is willing to work closely together with Trump even despite the possible difficulties and obstacles.

Also, journalists, present at the meeting, reported Trump Saying that he has "great relationship" with Kim Jong-un.
(Article continues.)


11.06.2018 - Trump Adviser Larry Kudlow Suffers Heart Attack, President Tweets On Way to Kim Jong Un Meeting
Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, has suffered a heart attack

Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, has suffered a heart attack and is being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C.

Trump tweeted the news just hours before his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack," he wrote.

The 70 year-old Kudlow's condition is not immediately known. Kudlow's wife, Judy Pond, told the Washington Post late Monday night that "he's doing fine. Doctors here are fabulous."

Kudlow, who was a CNBC host before replacing Gary Cohn as National Economic Council director, most recently accompanied Trump to Quebec for the G7 meeting, where he advised the president to hang tough on trade and tariff negotiations.

The economic adviser appeared on CNN's State of The Union Sunday Morning. Kudlow joined the program to defend Trump's decision not to sign the G7 joint agreement due to the actions of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau “holds a press conference and says ‘the U.S. is insulting,’ he said that ‘Canada has to stand up for itself,’ he says that we ‘are the problem with tariffs,” Kudlow told CNN host Jake Tapper. “He was polarizing. He really kind of stabbed us in the back, he did a great disservice to the whole G-7, he betrayed them.”

Prior to hosting a show on CNBC, Kudlow worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and in President Ronald Reagan's administration.

Kudlow has been married to his third wife, Judy Pond, since 1986.


12.06.2018 - Trump Told Mike Pence Not to Allow Any 'F***ing Crazy Talk' From His Advisers Ahead of Kim Jong Un Meeting: Report
Trump Told Mike Pence Not to Allow Any 'F***ing Crazy Talk' From His Advisers Ahead of Kim Jong Un Meeting: Report

President Donald Trump urged his top advisers to show restraint in their comments about North Korea in the lead up to his much-anticipated summit with the country's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore Tuesday.

“Mike, you got it?,” the president asked Vice President Mike Pence, according to a White House official who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. “No f---ing crazy talk from anybody in the administration.”

The summit was previously called off, with both countries issuing comments that set back negotiations. North Korea abruptly canceled the summit in May when Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said the United States’ approach to North Korea negotiations would follow the “Libya model.”

“We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004,” he said on Fox News, referring to a process of denuclearization in Libya which eventually led to the toppling and death of leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The summit was then officially called off by Trump after a North Korean official called Mike Pence a “political dummy.” Yet just days later, on June 1, Trump announced that the meeting was back on after he hosted a top North Korean official at the White House.

That did not stop the potentially destabilizing comments, however. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s attorney, told reporters last week: “Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”

Trump’s call for restraint is a shift in tone from his own tweets about the North Korean Leader.

The Chinese Envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man. Hard to believe his people, and the military, put up with living in such horrible conditions. Russia and China condemned the launch,” he said in November 2017.

In January, the president tweeted, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Trump told reporters before leaving the G7 summit in Canada for Singapore that he’ll be able to know within a minute if a deal will be possible with the North Korean leader. “It’s just my touch, my feel—that’s what I do,” he said. “They say you know you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds—you ever hear of that one? Well, I think I’ll know very quickly whether or not something good is going to happen. I think I’ll know whether it will happen fast.”

He added, “And if I think it won’t happen, I don’t want to waste my time,” he said. “I don’t want to waste his time.”
This article was first written by Newsweek


12.06.2018 - Trump-Kim Summit Step Toward Firm Peace in Region - Tokyo
Trump-Kim Summit Becoming Step Toward Firm Peace in Region - Tokyo

The Japanese government hopes that the ongoing summit between North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore will become a big step toward the establishment of peace and stability in North East Asia, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday.

"We hope that this historic meeting will become a significant step toward the building of peace and stability in North East Asia. We intend to promote [this process]," Suga said.

The Japanese official also expressed his hope that the summit in Singapore would contribute to resolving the problems surrounding the North Korean missile and nuclear programs and would permit progress on the issue of North Korea's abductions of the Japanese citizens.


12.06.2018 - Russian Lawmakers: Moscow Ready to Assist in N Korea's Denuclearization
Russian Lawmakers: Moscow Ready to Assist in N Korea's Denuclearization

Russia welcomes the summit between North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, however, one round of negotiations is unlikely to lead to any significant results, Deputy Chair of the Russian lower house's Defense Committee Yuri Shvytkin told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"The very meeting between Kim Jong Un and Trump, taking into account that the initial positions, which currently exist, are quite unfavorable for the holding of the meeting,… is welcomed. But at the same time I believe that today one round of talks, one summit will not yield any considerable results," Shvytkin said.

Meanwhile, the first deputy head of the Russian upper house international committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, told Sputnik on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to take part in the process of North Korea's nuclear disarmament and believes that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"Russia is ready to facilitate the peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula the process of the denuclearization should be decided on within the group of six negotiators. Meanwhile, Pyongyang expects the security assurances from the international community, first of all, from the United States," Dzhabarov indicated.

The lawmaker also added that the first meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States was unlikely to produce any major decisions.
 

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Beijing is hoping that US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be able to reach consensus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and create a mechanism for a peace settlement in the region, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement published on the ministry's website on Tuesday.

12.06.2018 - China Hopes North Korea, US Agree on Denuclearizing Korean Peninsula
China Hopes North Korea, US Agree on Denuclearizing Korean Peninsula

We are hoping that the leaders of North Korea and the United States will be able to eliminate all disagreements, achieve mutual trust, overcome difficulties and reach a major consensus toward the implementation of denuclearization and creation of a peaceful settlement mechanism on the Korean Peninsula," the statement read.

Other politicians around the world have also addressed the issue. South Korean President Moon Jae-in noted that he "could hardly sleep last night" in anticipation of the summit and also expressed hope for "complete denuclearization and peace."


12.06.2018 - Trump and Kim Jong-un Sign Document After Historic Summit
Trump and Kim Jong-un Sign Document After Historic Summit

[...] [...] The meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un lasted for about 45 minutes as it was initially planned. After the one-on-one meeting concluded the parties moved on to the summit in an expanded format.

The US delegation includes State Secretary Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. The North Korean delegation, in turn, comprises Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party, and Ri Su Yong, the Workers’ Party's top official for international affairs.

After a working lunch, the two leaders walked around Singapore's Capella hotel and went back to the hotel. Moments before, Trump told journalists that the meeting was "better than anybody could have expected," and said that the leaders were going to "a signing".

"A lot of progress — really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line, very good. We're going now for a signing," Trump said.

CNN reported later, quoting an unnamed Washington official, that the two leaders are going to sign an agreement to acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going.

Meanwhile, local media reported that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un said following one-on-one meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore that he was interested in developing close cooperation with the US president.

According to The Straits Times newspaper, Kim is willing to work closely together with Trump even despite the possible difficulties and obstacles.

Also, journalists, present at the meeting, reported Trump Saying that he has "great relationship" with Kim Jong-un.

After the meeting Trump addressed the outcome document.

"So we're signing a very important document, a pretty comprehensive document… We're both very honored to sign the document," he said. "We're very proud of what took place today. I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean peninsula is going to be in a very much different situation than it has in the past… We have developed a very special bond… We're going to take care of a very big and a very dangerous problem for the world," Trump said.

In his turn, North Korean leader stated, that the world was about to see "a major change" and expressed his gratitude to Trump for making this meeting possible. The US President called Kim Jong-un a "very talented man," who "loves his country very much", adding he would "absolutely" invite Kim to the White House. Trump stated that he would hold a press conference later in the day, also pledging to continue to conduct negotiations with Kim in the future.

After a long handshake, Kim and Trump left the sight of the meeting.


12.06.2018 - Singaporean PM Congradtulates Trump, Kim on Successful Outcome of Summit
Singaporean PM Congratulates Trump, Kim on Successful Outcome of Summit

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the successful conclusion of their much-anticipated bilateral meeting.

"Congratulations on the successful conclusion of a historic summit meeting between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States. The joint statement that you signed today with Chairman Kim Jong-un is a dramatic step forward. It is a crucial first move in the long journey towards lasting peace and stability on a denuclearized Korean Peninsula," Lee Hsien Loong said in a congratulatory letter to Trump posted on Facebook.

Lee also expressed his gratitude that Singapore had been chosen to host the event and wished both Pyongyang and Washington success in implementing the agreement.

An analogous letter was sent to Kim. (Copy of letter)


12.06.2018 - Historic Kim-Trump Summit Highlights: Handshakes, Body Language, 'Major changes'
Historic Kim-Trump Summit Highlights: Handshakes, Body Language, 'Major Changes'

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met in Singapore on June 12, marking an historic shift in US-DPRK relations. Sputnik has gathered key facts about the summit that took place despite the odds and decades of mutual mistrust between the two countries.

Momentous Handshake
The summit started with the two leaders meeting each other on the red carpet in front of flags after months of preparations and one "rain check" taken by the sides. The handshake lasted for about 13 seconds and has been branded historic by many social networks users. According to reports, North Korea's leader greeted his US counterpart in English.


Body language experts noted that during the joint walk and while sitting in the negotiating room, both leaders emanated an aura of friendship, openness and warmth.

Kim Jong-un and Trump had a 40-minute dialogue in private, followed by a working lunch, where their advisors, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, former spy chief Kim Yong-chol, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho joined them. The lunch itself reportedly consisted of both Western and Korean dishes, such as stuffed cucumbers and a soy-braised fish.

Results of the Historic Negotiations
Following the negotiations, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump signed what the latter called a "pretty comprehensive document," which marked the verge of a "major change" for the world as his Korean counterpart described it.

The agreement signed by the two contains four points: re-starting US-N. Korean relations for the sake of mutual prosperity, the DPRK's demilitarization and denuclearization, joint efforts for reaching peace on the Korean Peninsula and also the recovery of the remains of prisoners of war and soldiers who went missing in action during the days of the Korean War (1950-1953).

The document's text reportedly doesn't contain the formula "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," but it contains a reaffirmation of the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula adopted on April 27, 2018 during the inter-Korean summit. At the same time, Trump said during his press conference that Pyongyang had already destroyed a major nuclear engine test site, citing the words of the DPRK leader.

Trump also promised to stop military drills with South Korea if talks with its northern counterpart progress successfully. The AFP News agency has claimed that the document includes "security guarantees" for North Korea, but didn't provide any specifics.

Trump's Press Conference and Kim's Promenade
Trump spoke extensively with the press after the historic meeting concluded. He thanked Kim Jong-un for "stepping toward a bright future" and called him an honest, direct and "productive" person. He even expressed his readiness to invite him to the White House at some point in the future.

Commenting on the sanctions issue, Trump said that they are to stay in place for now, but he expressed his readiness to lift them as soon as the DPRK finishes its denuclearization.

Although Chairman Kim left the summit soon after its end, he made use of the opportunity before the meeting began to get acquainted with life in Singapore. Kim took a stroll around Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino, where he was reportedly cheered by bystanders who caught a glimpse of him.

The only thing that cast a shadow over the event, was news that the US president's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow had suffered a heart attack minutes before Trump met Kim Jong-un. Fortunately, he was given proper and timely medical attention and is now "doing fine," according to his wife.


12.06.2018 - Trump-Kim Historic Summit concludes With Ambitious Agreement
Trump-Kim Historic Summit Concludes With Ambitious Agreement

The first-ever summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has concluded with an agreement in which Pyongyang reaffirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, while the United States pledged to provide security guarantees.

The final document is made up of only four points: the agreement to establish new bilateral relations, decision to join efforts to "build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula," Pyongyang's confirmed commitment to denuclearization, and the repatriation of the remains of the US military personnel, either prisoners of war or missing in action after the 1950-1953 war.

In response to Kim's confirmation of denuclearization intentions, Trump has promised to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang.

However, the document does not mention Washington's determination to achieve a complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.

The two sides have agreed that a follow-up meeting would be attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a relevant official from North Korea.


12.06.2018 - Moscow Welcomes Trump Announcing Suspension of Korean Peninsula Military Drills
Moscow Welcomes Trump Announcing Suspension of Korean Peninsula Military Drills

Russia welcomes US President Donald Trump announcing the suspension of military exercises on the Korean peninsula during the talks with North Korea, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"We welcome the negotiations of chairman of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump," the Ministry stated. Moscow said it believed that the normalization of the countries’ bilateral ties is an integral part of the solution of the Korean peninsula’s issues and that Russia would "support the political and diplomatic process on the Korean peninsula."

We assess positively the statement of US president after the meeting saying that it was inappropriate to hold military exercises during the negotiations. We are convinced that the cessation of provocative actions is a necessary step towards decreasing tensions on the peninsula and establishing an atmosphere of trust there," the statement read.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the fact of the meeting is positive, underlining, however, that the documents on the results of the meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea were to be published.

"We are just like you, watching TV, watching the comments that both sides are making. We have not seen any documents. In my opinion, they have not been published yet, but the fact of the meeting is, of course, positive," Lavrov told reporters commenting on the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Earlier in the day, Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. After the historic summit, Trump announced that the drills would be suspended if the talks with Pyongyang were to move ahead.


12.06.2018 - Ministry: China's 'Double Freeze' Plan on N Korea Proved Effectiveness Over Time
Ministry: China’s ‘Double Freeze’ Plan on N Korea Proved Effectiveness Over Time

China’s so-called double freeze plan on the North Korean settlement, envisaging the latter’s halting its nuclear activity in exchange for the United States ceasing drills near the peninsula as well as the establishment of the peace dialogue, has ultimately proved to be effective, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"In regards to the problem of the Korean peninsula, China is committed to the denuclearization and maintenance of peace and stability on the peninsula, the settlement of the relevant issues through the dialogue and consultations. We have proposed a ‘double freeze’ plan and the development of situation has proved that it is a right offer and it is being implemented. The relevant sides are working using the ‘double freeze’ approach as well," Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing.

Earlier in the day, the first-ever summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has concluded with an agreement in which Pyongyang reaffirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, while the United States pledged to provide security guarantees.

In June, China proposed a so-called double freeze plan, which was supported by Russia. It suggested that North Korea cease its nuclear activity in exchange for the United States and South Korea halting their joint military drills near the peninsula.

Russia also proposed to develop a roadmap for the gradual restoration of trust and creation of conditions for the resumption of six-party talks.
 

angelburst29

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"Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace" - US President Donald Trump on "honest, direct" meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Published on Jun 12, 2018 (0:34 min.)


Longer version: Trump speaks after historic summit with Kim Jong Un

Published on Jun 12, 2018 (1:05:29 min.)
 

angelburst29

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Despite the fact that Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un seemed to have bonded during the Singapore summit, the US president credited his past fiery rhetoric against the North Korean leader for making the landmark meeting come true.

13.06.2018 - Trump Opens Up About Feeling 'Foolish' When Insulting 'Little Rocket Man'
Trump Opens Up About Feeling 'Foolish' When Insulting 'Little Rocket Man'

Speaking immediately after the historic summit with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Donald Trump revealed that Kim Jong-un has a “very good personality, he’s funny, and he’s very, very smart” and the two “got along very well” from the very onset of the meeting.

A sudden change of heart seems to be at odds with his previous comments, when the president repeatedly referred to the North Korean leader as “Little Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission” and threatened to unleash “fire and fury” if Pyongyang proceeded with its nuclear provocations. Kim, in turn, responded to the insults, calling Trump a “dotard,” exhibiting “mentally deranged behavior.”

The president shared with Hannity that his hardline stance on North Korea paved the way for the historic summit, but admitted that sometimes it didn’t come easy.

“I think without the rhetoric, we wouldn’t have been here. I really believe that. So, I think the rhetoric, I hated to do it. Sometimes I felt foolish doing it. But we had no choice,” Trump confessed.

And it appears that the president never lost hope of becoming Kim’s friend – at least judging by his tweet:

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!
8:48 PM - Nov 11, 2017 · Vietnam


13.06.2018 - 'There is No Longer a Nuclear Threat From N Korea' - Trump
'There is No Longer a Nuclear Threat From N Korea' - Trump

US President Donald Trump has made several announcements upon his return to Washington after the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!" Trump posted on his Twitter account.

The president further underlined that before he took office, former president Barack Obama had been calling North Korea "our biggest and most dangerous problem" and US citizens were scared of a possible war with the nuclear power.

According to Trump, the deal has become possible since both sides decided not to play, what he called "war games".

Later in the day, the president slammed "fake news", accusing some media outlets of efforts to downplay the deal with North Korea.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN. They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have “begged” for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!
9:30 AM - Jun 13, 2018

These statements were made when Donald Trump returned to US soil after holding a momentous meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore the day before. During the summit, both sides signed an agreement outlining the two countries' commitment to work toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Trump also gave North Korea security assurances and indicated he would suspend military exercises with South Korea.

The North Korean leader noted that if Washington keeps taking "sincere steps to build trust," Pyongyang will also take "measures of goodwill." During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to continue the dialogue and accepted each other's invitations to visit North Korea and the United States.

The deal reached has been welcomed by Moscow. Russia has been supporting a reserved approach to the issue, suggesting a so-called double-freeze plan together with China. The proposed document stipulated Pyongyang halting its nuclear activity in exchange for the United States ceasing drills near the peninsula as well as the establishment of a peace dialogue - similar to the final agreement.


13.06.2018 - N Korean Media Says US Aims to End Sanctions as Trump Speaks of 'New Future'
N Korean Media Says US Aims to End Sanctions as Trump Speaks of 'New Future'

US President Donald Trump told North Korea's Kim Jong-un about Washington's intention to lift sanctions against Pyongyang amid further improvement of relations between the two countries, the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has reported.

"Trump announced his intention to stop the joint military exercises of the United States and South Korea, which North Korea views as a provocation, for a period of friendly dialogue between North Korea and the United States, offer security guarantees to North Korea and lift sanctions against it amid further improvement of relations through dialogue and negotiations," KCNA said Wednesday.

According to KCNA, during the summit, Kim said that in order to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the United States and North Korea should refrain from confrontation and take measures to guarantee stability.

"Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump expressed a unified position on the importance of respecting the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous actions to achieve peace, stability, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," KCNA said.

The US president, in turn, expressed gratitude to Chairman Kim Jong-un for the "bold step toward a bright new future" for the North Korean people and said that Pyongyang's opportunities have no limits if it abandons the country's nuclear weapons program.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

There is no limit to what NoKo can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce & engagement w/ the world. Chairman Kim has before him the opportunity to be remembered as the leader who ushered in a glorious new era of security & prosperity for his citizens!
8:02 PM - Jun 12, 2018


13.06.2018 - Kim-Trump Summit Proved Putin Right, Only Dialogue Can Solve Crisis - Kremlin
Kim-Trump Summit Proved Putin Right, Only Dialogue Can Solve Crisis – Kremlin

The meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore contributes to defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and prevents the situation in the region from reaching a critical point, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

The results of this meeting have yet to be substantively analyzed, but we can only welcome the very fact that such a meeting has taken place and a direct dialogue has been launched. Certainly, such meetings, whatever the results, contribute to defusing tensions on the peninsula, pushing the situation away from the critical point in which it was literally a few months ago. This also cannot but be noted with satisfaction,” Peskov told reporters.

The spokesman stressed that it was wrong to hope that the long-standing complex of problems around North Korea could be solved overnight, emphasizing that the historic summit had proved that Russian President Vladimir Putin's stance that problems of the Korean Peninsula could not be resolved other than via a direct dialogue was right.

Russian President would meet President of the Presidium of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam on Thursday, he added.


13.06.2018 - Lavrov: US, N Korea Will Hardly Solve All Korean Problems Bilaterally
Lavrov: US, N Korea Will Hardly Solve All Korean Problems Bilaterally

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US announcement of the suspension of military drills in the region would help solve the challenges facing the Korean Peninsula.

"President Trump's announcement about the lack of need to hold yet another US-South Korean drill will contribute to ensuring a steady pace [in the Korean settlement]," Lavrov said at a press conference.

The Russian minister said that the very fact that the summit took place is positive, stressing that denuclearization would take a long time and expressed hope that Pyongyang and Washington would have "enough patience" to agree on the parameters of the process.

"Undoubtedly, despite the importance of resolving the problems between the United States and North Korea, including the stages of the peninsula's denuclearization and security guarantees, it is clear that these problems can hardly be resolved in a bilateral format… All participants of the six-party talks persistently noted that the process should result in creating a system of peace, security and stability throughout Northeast Asia," he said.

The minister commented on the historic meeting held between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. The politicians signed a framework agreement, committing to work toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Trump also gave Pyongyang security assurances and stated that he would suspend military drills with South Korea in order to avoid tensions.


13.06.2018 - Pompeo: US Hopes for Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula Within 2.5 Years
Pompeo: US Hopes for Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula Within 2.5 Years

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States hopes to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in two-and-a-half years, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

Pompeo said during his visit in Seoul on Wednesday that the United States hopes North Korea will denuclearize by the end of US President Donald Trump’s first term of presidency, ABC News reported.

"Major disarmament… We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and half years," he stated, adding that there is "a lot of work left to do".

Pompeo underscored that the agreement signed on Tuesday by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un includes verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

"Let me assure you that 'complete' encompasses verifiable in the minds of everyone concerned. One can't completely denuclearize without validating, authenticating," he said.

The US top official defended Trump’s decision to unilaterally stop US military exercises with South Korea near the Korean peninsula by saying that the halt will only last as long as North Korea is participating in productive and good-faith negotiations.
 

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 - South Korean President Vows to Consider Suspending War Games If Needed
Farsnews

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that there is a need for flexible change regarding a military stance if talks between the US and North Korea continue to progress positively, according to a Blue House statement.

Moon said South Korea would carefully consider joint military drills with the United States and he asked his officials to cooperate with the United States on the issue, his office said in a statement, RIA Novosti reported.

"If North Korea sincerely carries out denuclearization steps and North Korea's dialogue with the South and the United States to resolve hostilities goes well, it will be necessary to flexibly change military pressure against the North to abide by the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration," Moon added.

Earlier in the day, the South Korean President chaired a National Security Council (NSC) plenary meeting.

"President Moon said that if North Korea sincerely engages in denuclearization, if sincere dialogue both between South and North Korea, North Korea and the United States continues to resolve hostilities in their relations, a flexible change in military pressure on North Korea will be needed in accordance with the spirit of mutual trust established in the Panmunjom Declaration, and we will carefully review the issue of the ROK-US joint drills," the press release read.

Moon earlier stressed that the US-North Korean high-level meeting would pave the wave for an "era of complete denuclearization" and peace in the region.

In a press conference after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit in Singapore on June 12, US President Donald Trump stated it was inappropriate to hold "war games" while trying to negotiate a deal.

Trump noted that canceling joint military exercises would both save money, and be appreciated by Kim.


June, 13, 2018 - France Alarmed after Trump 'Practically Hugged' Kim: Minister
France Alarmed after Trump 'Practically Hugged' Kim: Minister - Tasnim News Agency

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian criticized Donald Trump's "destabilizing" foreign policy on Wednesday after the US leader fell out with historic US allies then "practically hugged" North Korea's dictator in a matter of days.

Le Drian said Tuesday's historic summit between Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un was "an undoubted step forward", but he expressed concern about the US president's diplomatic manoeuvres.

"In the space of just a day you see President Trump attacking Mr. Trudeau who is a historically, and you see President Trump breaking with his collective allies after the G7 meeting in Quebec, and the next day practically hugged a dictator born into a Communist dictatorship which just a few days ago he said he was completely opposed to," he said, AFP reported.

"We are in a destabilizing situation," Le Drian told CNews television.

"President Trump has decided to progressively dismantle the tools of multilateralism created after the last war. It is a period of uncertainty and risk... America is shutting itself away in its fortress of power."

Trump's critics have seized on his warm embrace of Kim, days after a spectacular bust-up with G7 allies at a summit in Canada, as the latest sign of his rapport with autocrats.

Trump clashed badly with leaders of the G7's Western democracies over tariffs and accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being "dishonest and weak" at a summit that ended in farce last weekend.

Like many officials, Le Drian raised questions over how Kim's promise to help rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons could be achieved.

"There have already been in the past gestures towards denuclearization by the father of Kim Jong Un that came to nothing," Le Drian said.

"So today it's good news, let's take it as such, but let's make sure this principle of denuclearization which was flaunted at this summit is really irreversible and verifiable."


June, 14, 2018 - Japan Working to Arrange Abe-Kim Talks: Reports
Japan Working to Arrange Abe-Kim Talks: Reports - Tasnim News Agency

Japan is working to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong Un after the North Korean leader said he was open to talks, local media reported Thursday.

The Sankei Shimbun said Kim discussed the possibility during historic talks Tuesday with US President Donald Trump.

"During the summit with Trump, Kim told Trump 'I can meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe'," the Sankei reported.

Japan wants the talks to push the emotive issue of citizens abducted by the North decades ago, which has seen little movement despite a whirlwind of diplomacy in recent months.

Abe on Thursday repeated a pledge to push for dialogue with Pyongyang on the issue as he met families of abductees.

"I will face (North Korea) directly and work toward resolving the abduction issue," he told the families, AFP reported.

"Japan has to take the initiative to resolve the issue," he said, adding that the summit would be "meaningless if it yields no progress on the abduction issue".

Government officials are weighing several scenarios, including Abe visiting Pyongyang in August, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Another scenario would see Abe meet Kim on the sidelines of a conference in Russia in September, the daily said.

Several Japanese media outlets said Kim had expressed a readiness to meet Abe when he held a summit with Trump.

And Abe has already said publicly that he would be willing to meet Kim in order to resolve the abduction issue.

Japanese foreign ministry officials plan to hold talks with North Korean officials at an international security conference in Mongolia this week as they try to firm up plans, local media said.


June, 13, 2018 - US Secretary of State to Visit China, Talk about Trump-Kim Summit
US Secretary of State to Visit China, Talk about Trump-Kim Summit - Tasnim News Agency

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit China on Thursday and brief China on the summit between US President Donald Trump and the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Pompeo's visit is at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday at a daily press briefing.

The two sides will exchange opinions on bilateral ties and important international and regional issues of common concern, Geng said, Xinhua news agency reported.

Calling Pompeo's visit "an important high-level exchange between the two sides," Geng expressed China's hope to promote understanding, manage differences and expand cooperation with the United States.

Maintaining sound and stable development of ties between China and the United States is not only in the interests of the two sides, but also of the whole world, and the international community looks forward to it, Geng said.
 

angelburst29

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14.06.2018 - Classified Israeli Report Hints Trump-Kim Summit a Glorified Photo Op
Classified Israeli Report Hints Trump-Kim Summit a Glorified Photo Op

A classified Israeli Foreign Ministry report suggests that US President Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting in Singapore was little more than a glorified photo opportunity in which the US “retreated from its positions.”

Regardless of the smiles in the summit, many in Japan, South Korea and the US Congress doubt that North Korea is sincere in its intentions. Our assessment is that regardless of President Trump's statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road the [sic.] real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow," the classified report, obtained by Axios' Barak Ravid Thursday afternoon, states.

According to Axios' summary of the document, which was circulated among Israeli embassies worldwide after being produced by the research department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the document signed jointly by Kim and Trump leaves much to be desired.

Specifically, Trump sought "full, irreversible, and verifiable" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the document only provides for Pyongyang to achieve "complete denuclearization."

The Israeli researchers determined that Trump's decision to end military drills with South Korea amounted to "a retreat by the US," Axios notes.

Views about the importance of the summit differ substantially. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow welcomes and values the "results of the meeting" between the two heads of state, while adding that it was "only a first step" toward a complete resolution of the situation in the region.
 

angelburst29

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It seems that Donald Trump wants to borrow something from Kim Jong-un's political style amid the general thaw between the US and North Korea.

15.06.2018 - 'Don Jong-un?' Trump Admires How People Sit up at Attention When Kim Speaks
'Don Jong-un?' Trump Admires How People Sit up at Attention When Kim Speaks

Speaking to Fox and Friends on Friday, Trump called Kim a "strong head" of his country and said he admires the attention his staff seems to pay to their leader when he speaks. "Don't let anyone think different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same," Trump said.

Later in the day, Trump was asked by reporters what he meant by the remark. "I was kidding. You don't understand sarcasm," he said.

The comments prompted media on both sides of the Atlantic to "remind" readers that Kim was not a democratically elected leader, with CNN, Vox, The Guardian, and others pointing to North Korea's human rights record, including the alleged execution of several hundred people, including top military and government officials, as reported on by South Korean think tanks and media.

Trump's comments followed remarks he made in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier, in which Baier called Kim "a killer" and a leader who has "done some really bad things."

"Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done," Trump countered. "I think we have a very good relationship. We understand each other," Trump said of Kim.

In an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, Trump was again told that Kim was "a brutal dictator [who] runs a police state, [engages in] forced starvation, [runs] labor camps; he's assassinated members of his own family. How do you trust someone like that?"

"I can only tell you from my experience, and I've met him, I've spoken with him…I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he wants to de-nuke, without that, there's nothing to discuss," Trump said. "Over my lifetime I’ve done a lot of deals with a lot of people and sometimes the people you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones and the people that you do trust turn out to be not the honorable ones," he added.


15.06.2018 - No More Fire and Fury: Trump, Kim Took Military Option Off the Table - Analyst
No More Fire and Fury: Trump, Kim Took Military Option Off the Table – Analyst

The Singapore Summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has caught many by surprise. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Dr. Joseph Cheng, professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong shared his views on the meeting and explained skepticism over its potential outcomes.

Sputnik: No matter which way you look at this agreement between the United States of America and North Korea and despite much conflict being caused by President Trump's "America First" policy with global partners, this is a huge coup by the US president to achieve such concessions and agreement by a ruling North Korean leader. Just as a starter, perhaps you could just give us an overview as to your feelings to recent events.

Dr. Joseph Cheng: Well, this is a quite surprising achievement, I do agree, especially when you compare [it] with what was going on six months ago, when both leaders were talking about pushing the button, about fire and fury and so on. Now they were heading a summit. This summit apparently was successful, both leaders expressed satisfaction over the outcome and two countries have agreed to go on negotiating at the foreign minister-secretary of state level. Both sides basically reaffirmed their respective position, North Korea pressed to engage in complete denuclearization and President Donald Trump also promised to offer security guarantees to North Korea. So, the basic foundation has been laid; as expected, they cannot make further commitments with regard to exchanges of mutual state visits as well as de-conclusion of a peace agreement. These things probably need more time. And they, as expected and reasonably, did not have enough time to reach these agreements.

Sputnik: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un swept aside decades of hostility between the nations at this historic summit at Singapore last Tuesday jointly pledging a new future of peaceful relations and one of the significant concessions that sparked criticism in Washington. Mr. Trump declared the US would halt military exercises in Korea and pledged security guarantees to Pyongyang in return for an unwavering but unspecified commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by Mr. Kim. This has caused some concern by Japan and the senators from the Democratic Party of the US. What's your take on these particular comments after the historic meeting?

Dr. Joseph Cheng: Well, I think everyone can agree that a good beginning, a good foundation, has been made, but the outcome is still far from certain, given the fact that previous agreements did not work out. In 1994, both the United States and North Korea were ready to reach a framework agreement and the United States promised to send two light-water reactors to North Korea in exchange of its abandonment of its nuclear weapons. The agreement did not work out. There were also agreements reached during the Six-Party talks [between China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States] in the previous decade [2003-2009]. Again these agreements did not end up in any constructive foundation for denuclearization on the part of Pyongyang. So, these failures before probably generated some sense of cynicism and perhaps pessimism. But this is the only way, obviously, to go forward. I think that the most important achievement of the summit is to demonstrate to the world that military means are off the agenda, military options are far too costly, far too dangerous, risky and they are opposed not only by South Korea, but also strongly opposed by China and Russia.

So, the parties concerned have to engage in negotiations and try to reach a solution through peaceful solutions. This is too early to assess the outcome — there must be some years of negotiations ahead before North Korea completely finishes its denuclearization program. Japan, as you said, is certainly concerned. Japan has been left out so far. As you know there have already been summit meetings between the two Koreas, between China and North Korea and between the US and North Korea now. Russian Foreign Minister [Sergei Lavrov] visited Pyongyang recently and he was received by Kim Jong-un, and Japan naturally feels a bit isolated and at the same time Japan has its own agenda item, mainly the return of abducted Japanese nationals in the previous decades and so on. And Japan may like to have a piece of action in the near future, which is also highly likely.


15.06.2018 - US Forces in South Korea Not Subject to Talks with North Korea - Seoul
US Forces in South Korea Not Subject to Talks With North Korea - Seoul

The announcement by a senior official in South Korean president Moon Jae-in's office was made in the wake of the Pentagon's announcement that the US will suspend the military exercises with South Korea after the first-ever meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

The senior official said that the US military contingent presence in South Korea is not the subject to negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang as it is a matter of relations between South Koreans and Americans.

Donald Trump gave North Korea security assurances and indicated he would suspend military exercises with South Korea.

Recently, Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Logan said that the US Defense Department was working with the White House on options to halt military exercises with South Korea.

Earlier, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated, that a change in military pressure on North Korea would be possible only if Pyongyang was to "carry out denuclearization steps sincerely."

On June 12 Trump and Kim met on the Singaporean island of Sentosa. Following the meeting, the leaders signed a document showing their commitment to establish new bilateral relations and build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

After the summit the Donald Trump stated, that military exercises in the region were "provocative" and might be suspended.

Pyongyang reaffirmed its commitment to the "complete denuclearization of Korean Peninsula."

In April, Kim Jong-un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and agreed to jointly work on peacefully resolving long-standing bilateral tensions.


15.06.2018 - China May Demand That US Remove THAAD From S Korea - Analyst
China May Demand That US Remove THAAD From S Korea – Analyst

The implementation of the US-North Korea June 12 accords might require China's participation, analysts told Sputnik, suggesting that Beijing could demand that the Pentagon remove its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems deployed on the Korean Peninsula.

On June 12 North Korea clearly signaled its determination to carry out the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, therefore, at this stage, the proposal to mitigate sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is quite reasonable, Lu Chao, head of the Center for North Korean and Republic of Korea Studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told Sputnik China.

"Previously, the international community imposed sanctions on the DPRK because of its nuclear tests," Lu said. "However, North Korea has already responded positively to the idea of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In this case, the UN Security Council should also reconsider sanctions against the DPRK, up to the introduction of appropriate adjustments. Of course, the UN Security Council should take a decision on a relevant discussion [on the issue]. We can say that the DPRK's efforts to conduct the denuclearization are obvious. In particular, we are talking about the dismantling of [Pyongyang's] nuclear test site in May this year."

On May 25 Pyongyang destroyed the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site — the only known nuclear test site in the country, ahead of the June 12 Singapore Summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The demolition of the nuclear test site came as a signal of the DPRK's goodwill and readiness to go ahead with the denuclearization process.

Speaking at the UN Security Council on May 13, Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia raised the anti-DPRK sanctions issue, suggesting that the Security Council should consider steps to lift restrictions against Pyongyang.

"I think that it is only natural that we should be thinking about steps in that direction," Nebenzia told reporters. "There is progress on the track that should be reciprocal. There should be a two-way street. Of course the other side should see encouragement to go forward."

The Russian diplomat specified that earlier, Moscow and Beijing had proposed a phased plan of denuclearization of the peninsula. One of the steps envisaged the suspension of US-South Korean military drills in exchange for Pyongyang's gradual abandonment of its nuclear program.

On June 13 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises had been suspended, adding that the drills would be resumed in case Pyongyang stops negotiations over the nuclear program.

The next day, however, Pompeo clarified that the sanctions against Pyongyang would not be lifted until the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of North Korea.

"We believe that Kim Jong Un understands the urgency… that we must do this quickly," Pompeo said.

US Can't Implement Kim-Trump Accords Without China
Speaking to Sputnik, Russian political analyst Alexander Lomanov emphasized Beijing's role in the US-North Korean talks. It is likely that the US secretary of state's upcoming visit to China will be devoted to both the outcomes of the Singapore Summit and the subsequent implementation of the Washington-Pyongyang agreement.

However, the discussion of this sensitive issue is overshadowed by the White House pledge to impose "a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the 'Made in China 2025' program" on June 15 and 30, respectively

The US intention to impose political pressure and harm the Chinese economy at the same time enlisting China's support in solving the North Korean problem is a very bold and daring plan," Lomanov opined. "It may not strike a chord with Beijing, because [the Chinese] still believe that usually partners do not engage in the destruction of economic ties.

According to the analyst, the Singapore Summit looked like an attempt to "make friends and talk," rather than making some serious arrangements.

The main problem remains: the US is demanding that the DPRK take real steps in exchange for verbal promises, Lomanov pointed out. The analyst underscored that Washington had repeatedly demonstrated that its words do not always translate into actions. Thus, the absolute asymmetry of these agreements will be evident soon, he believes. He added that one should not delude oneself into believing that the DPRK will disarm under Washington's verbal guarantees.

However, according to Lomanov, China could ensure North Korea's disarmament. Still, Beijing would not do it for nothing: The analyst presumed that the Chinese leadership may demand that the US redeploy its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems outside South Korea and reduce the US military contingent on the peninsula.

In any event, given China's historic ties with North Korea Washington needs Beijing's assistance in implementing the Trump-Kim accords, Lomanov emphasized.

The US installed the THAAD complex in South Korea in 2017 under the pretext of tacking North Korea's missile threat. The move was criticized by both China and Russia, which cited serious security concerns and warned Washington against escalating tensions in the region.


15.06.2018 - DoD Chief Mattis Discusses With S Korean Counterpart Results of Singapore Summit
DoD Chief Mattis Discusses With S Korean Counterpart Results of Singapore Summit

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo over the phone on Thursday the results of the Singapore summit, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

"Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis spoke with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo today from the Pentagon to discuss the results of the US-North Korea summit," the release said on Thursday.

Mattis also discussed with Song implementing US President Donald Trump’s guidance to halt US-South Korean military exercises in the region.

Moreover, the US defense secretary discussed the results of the summit with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, the Defense Department said in a separate press release.

Mattis reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad defense commitments to Japan and its determination to maintain military readiness in the region, the release said.
 

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Jun 17, 2018 - Trump accidentally admits everything he’s been saying about North Korea’s nukes is a lie
Trump accidentally admits everything he’s been saying about North Korea’s nukes is a lie

On Sunday morning, President Trump explained why he agreed to halt joint military exercises with South Korea during his meeting in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Holding back the “war games” during the negotiations was my request because they are VERY EXPENSIVE and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation. Also, quite provocative. Can start up immediately if talks break down, which I hope will not happen!
8:48 AM - Jun 17, 2018

But Trump’s acknowledgement that talks with North Korea could “break down” conflicts with the line he’s been pushing since he returned from Singapore — that he’s already solved the problem.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, categorically, that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” He sought to reassure Americans that as a result, they could now “sleep well.”

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
5:56 AM - Jun 13, 2018


Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer - sleep well tonight!
6:01 AM - Jun 13, 2018

But if it truly were the case that North Korea’s nuclear threat had ended once and for all, then there would be no need to worry that talks could “break down.”

In reality, the work of trying to solve the problem posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons has just begun. As ThinkProgress detailed, Trump’s tweets indicating otherwise represented a brazen attempt to gaslight the American public. North Korea maintains its nuclear capabilities and the agreement he signed with Kim doesn’t detail any sort of verifiable denuclearization process.


17.06.2018 - Kim: 1, Trump: 0 Say Experts as Dust Settles After Singapore Summit
Kim: 1, Trump: 0 Say Experts as Dust Settles After Singapore Summit

Promoted by both countries as the most significant historical event in modern times, the recent summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump has left observers, experts and governments scratching their heads and looking for facts behind the flash.

A document signed by both leaders and released after the June 12th summit in Singapore was notable according to observers for what it did not say and disappointing for its lack of details and concessions from the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Although both sides committed "to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula" bolstered by Trump promises for "security guarantees" to Pyongyang, facts to back up the frothy proclamations were almost nonexistent.

Kim offered what was termed a "firm and unwavering commitment" to completely eliminating nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, but no timetable was offered and details surrounding how the disarmament would be verified were not made available.

Tellingly, a precise definition for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula — ostensibly including both the DPRK and South Korea — was not provided.

In the past, Pyongyang's offers to disarm included not only the demand that Seoul do the same, but also required the complete withdrawal of all US military assets from the peninsula. There is no straightforward indication that this policy has changed, according to reports.

Many suggested that the summit accomplished very little in the way of real-world results.

"The word ‘denuclearization,' [as used in the text of the official summit document] is so elusive, it does not mean anything," Funabashi pointed out.

Trump's career as a reality TV personality is said to have contributed significantly to the glitz and glamour but lack of substance surrounding the historic summit with Kim according to reports, particularly as an estimated 2,500 reporters were the primary physical audience for the made-for-TV spectacular.

Kim — reportedly awed by the technological and financial panoply on display in Singapore — at one point during the summit observed to Trump that the pomp surrounding the event could serve as the plot of "a fantasy," cited by The Guardian.

The DPRK leader and his regime are notorious both for having the world's worst human-rights record and for employing the most brutal security forces on the planet, according to the Economist.

A recent United Nations estimate counted some 120,000 DPRK citizens — including entire families — placed in labor camps for life, while uncounted numbers of children do not receive enough food and are as a result mentally deficient, according to UN reports.

Although ten UN Security Council resolutions have been declared against Kim and his unremittingly repressive regime, the Trump White House has floated the idea of the DPRK leader's attendance at the UN General Assembly in New York prior to the end of the year.

Trump went so far as to suggest that Kim could be a guest at the White House in the near future.

But for US allies the most disturbing aspect of the summit's outcome in the region could be the president's off-the-cuff avowal that Pentagon defense assets stationed in the region over decades would be removed.

The US president also suggested that ongoing long-term military training exercises in Asia between the US and its allies were "inappropriate" during the negotiations.

An enormous concession by a US president — and one apparently made without involving the input of anyone within his administration — the statement quickly raised red flags in Tokyo and Seoul, who had no prior warning of the move.

Republican politicians in Washington DC, including the influential chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Ed Royce, were taken aback, and cautiously-worded statements withholding support for Trump's remark, pending additional information, were released on Capitol Hill.

Significantly, the US military command in Seoul — reacting to South Korean alarm — sought to calm local fears by announcing that joint military exercises between the longstanding allies would continue until official orders are revised.

Observers noted that Trump's seemingly offhand remarks about the legacy military exercises between Washington and Seoul were unnecessary and potentially damaging to his cause.

"Without those [joint military exercise] comments, [Trump] could have sold the summit as a political success," commented East Asian security expert Janka Oertel with the German Marshall Fund.

"But alienating his allies in that way could do serious harm," noted Oertel, adding, "It is also a massive gift to China."


18.06.2018 - North Korea Reportedly Possesses Up to 3,000 Nuclear-Related Facilities
North Korea Reportedly Possesses Up to 3,000 Nuclear-Related Facilities

North Korea has hundreds of facilities related to missile and nuclear activity, South Korean Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday, citing an assessment carried out by US authorities, amid the US-North Korean talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

According to the Munhwa Ilbo daily newspaper, the US authorities have detected up to 3,000 nuclear-related facilities in North Korea, which could mean that the inspection of the sites and US-North Korean talks on denuclearization will take considerable time.


18.06.2018 - Seoul , Pyongyang Agree to Compete Together in 2018 Asian Games - Reports
Seoul, Pyongyang Agree to Compete Together in 2018 Asian Games - Reports

North and South Korea have agreed to form joint teams for some competitions within the upcoming Asian Games, and march together under the unification flag during the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament, the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday.

During their Monday's talks in the truce village of Panmunjom, the representatives of the two Koreas also agreed to hold a friendly basketball game in Pyongyang on July 4, in line with the idea Kim voiced during the summit, the agency reported, citing the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Earlier in the day, representatives of both states held talks on the issue of jointly participating in the Asian Games and other sporting events in line with the landmark Panmunjom Peace Declaration, signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their April 27 summit.

The 2018 Asian Games will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang between August 18 and September 2.

The agreement to jointly compete in the games is the most recent episode of rapprochement between the two states. In February, the teams from North and South Korea marched together during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang and competed together in women's hockey.
 

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The South Korean government has set a goal to achieve the formal end of the Korean War that took place in 1950-1953 before the end of the year, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday.

18.06.2018 - Seoul Hopes for Announcement of Formal End of Korean War in 2018
Seoul Hopes for Announcement of Formal End of Korean War in 2018

"The goal of our government is to strive for [a formal end of the war] this year," Kang said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

In April, Kim Jong-un held a historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and agreed to jointly work on peacefully resolving long-standing bilateral tensions.

Recently Moon Jae-in expressed hope that the US-North Korean high-level summit will pave the wave for an "era of complete denuclearization' and peace in the region, after Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met on the Singaporean island of Sentosa and signed a document showing their commitment to establish new bilateral relations and build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 - Report: US Businessman Helped Boost US-North Korea Ties Via Jared Kushner
Farsnews

A wealthy US businessman living in Singapore named Gabriel Schulze helped North Korean officials to establish informal contacts with the United States through Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and aide, according to a report.

According to The New York Times newspaper, the North Koreans went to Schulze and offered him to organize a secret communication channel with the White House via Kushner.

Schulze met Kushner and told him about this proposal. Kushner did not contact the North Koreans directly but notified then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo, who was engaged in further negotiations. The White House, the CIA and Schulze declined to comment on the issue, the publication reported on Sunday.

The newspaper noted that more than a dozen people have contacted the US State Department over the last year, arguing that they could help establish contacts with Pyongyang. In most cases, these statements were not confirmed.

Michael J. Green, who worked in the George W. Bush administration on the North Korean issue, confirmed to the newspaper that Pyongyang often used mediators to establish relations with the United States.

As suggested by the publication, there were internal tensions within the administration over who should contact the North Koreans: the CIA or the State Department. When then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that he supported two or three direct lines of communication with Pyongyang, Trump publicly said that Tillerson should "save his energy". Soon thereafter, Tillerson was removed from office and was replaced by Pompeo, who continued his diplomacy with Pyongyang.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a historic summitin Singapore and committed the United States and North Korea to establishing new bilateral relations and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Trump also agreed to halt US-South Korea military exercises near the Korean peninsula and to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang, while Kim reiterated his country’s commitment to denuclearization.

The South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo earlier reported, citing informed diplomatic sources that Pyongyang, during the preparation for the summit, demanded from Washington to establish diplomatic relations and abolish sanctions. At the moment, there is no formal relationship between the countries.
 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is currently visiting China, the CCTV channel reported Tuesday.

19.06.2018 - China's Xi, North Korean Leader Kim Hold Meeting in Beijing
China's Xi, North Korean Leader Kim Hold Meeting in Beijing

"If both sides can gradually implement the consensus reached during the summit, then there will be major changes in the situation with the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," the North Korean leader said as quoted by the CCTV.

Meanwhile, Xi stressed that China appreciated the results of the Singapore summit, in particular, the agreement reached by Kim and Trump on denuclearization and establishment of lasting peace on the peninsula.

According to earlier media reports, Kim was expected to discuss the recent summit with US President Donald Trump, in particular, a further negotiations strategy.

At the meeting with Xi, Kim said that positive results, corresponding to the interests of both sides, were reached during his summit with Trump.
 
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