Trump says summit with North Korea's Kim will be in Hanoi

09 February, 2019, 11:27 | Author: Carlos George
  • Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaid

Trump tweeted that United States diplomats had a "very productive meeting" with their North Korean counterparts, during which they agreed on the time and date of the summit.

North Korea has yet to provide any official confirmation of the summit and Kim Jong-un appeared to make no mention of it during a meeting on Friday with the top brass of the Korean People's Army.

By last autumn, North Korea changed the division in charge of nuclear issues from its foreign ministry to the State Affairs Commission under Kim Jong Un, according to sources knowledgeable about U.S. Biegun said ahead of his trip that he would discuss the "corresponding measures" North Korea is seeking in exchange for its denuclearization.

Trump will face pressure to achieve more during his second meeting with the North Korean leader, after the first summit did not yield commitments from Kim to allow weapons inspections or dismantle its growing arsenal of warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles. We have some hard work to do with DPRK between now and then.

Mr Trump said his representatives had a "productive meeting" and that he was looking forward to advancing peace.

The anniversary is a holiday in North Korea.

At their landmark summit in Singapore a year ago, the mercurial USA and North Korean leaders produced a vaguely worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards "the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

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The U.S. special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun met with Kim Hyok Chol, Pyongyang's former envoy to Spain, earlier this week in Pyongyang to discuss arrangements for the summit. "As you know, inter-Korean relations, US-North Korea relations and denuclearization are in a virtuous cycle".

North Korea has been known to parade its missiles through the streets and has aggressively pursued a nuclear program.

But progress has since stalled, with the two sides disagreeing over what that means.

Following an ICBM test on November 29, 2017, when the Hwasong-15 was sacked, Kim Jong Un declared North Korea had "finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force".

But tough sanctions have limited what they can do, with Washington insisting on keeping up economic pressure until North Korea takes stronger steps toward irreversibly and verifiably relinquishing its nuclear weapons.

In the course of negotiations with the Trump administration, North Korea has not launched a missile since November 2017.

While such a declaration wouldn't imply a legally binding peace treaty, experts say it could create political momentum that would make it easier for North Korea to steer the discussions toward a peace regime and security concessions.

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