Trump's North Korea summit will go ahead, insists Moon Jae

Leigh Mccormick
May 24, 2018

The Cheong Wa Dae officials said Moon will likely tell Trump what to expect and what not to expect when the latter meets Kim next month. That's one of the issues Trump and Moon will have to discuss.

"For Moon, it's mission impossible", Kazianis said.

An expanded meeting involving other officials from both sides will be held later over lunch at the White House. South Korea expressed regret that its journalists had not been included after earlier being invited.

Yet, in the lead-up to the Singapore summit, Trump and Bolton have gratuitously referred to the "Libya model" in the specific context of North Korea. The US has maintained nuclear weapons without testing them for decades.

Some in the US government worry that Moon may be prepared to accept a less-stringent version of North Korean denuclearization than Washington wants and could be open to faster sanctions relief for Pyongyang, the officials said. It also threatened to pull out of a summit with US President Donald Trump, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Moon sought to project optimism after his meeting with Trump.

"There is absolutely no inevitable contradiction between these two", Lu told reporters.

Moon's government led efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea and gave enthusiastic accounts of its encounters with Kim, spurring Trump to accept an offer of a first-ever meeting between US and North Korean presidents.

In the interview, Bolton said that similar to the US's previous stance on Libya, it would need to verify that North Korea's denuclearization efforts were "real and not just rhetoric".

Vice President Mike Pence reignited concern over US-North Korean relations on Monday, after threatening that North Korea could end up like Libya if it doesn't play ball with the US.

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"It could very well be that he's influencing Kim Jong-un", Trump said, citing a recent meeting between the pair, their second in a month's time.

Even if that threat were to frighten Kim into agreeing to a deal, he has no assurance that Trump will keep his end of the bargain.

"The Trump administration is getting a little bit nervous that there really is no deliverable here", said Carl Baker, director of programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Pacific Forum.

Chung has dismissed the reports, saying no such change in heart in the us has been detected and that the USA president did not make any inquiries about a possible change in heart on the North Korean side in his latest telephone conversation with Moon held just three days earlier.

At a time when even U.S. allies are finding it hard to rely on an unpredictable and capricious Trump administration, Kim's strategy will likely seek to safeguard his nuclear "crown jewels" until a comprehensive peace and denuclearization accord is reached - an agreement he wants with reciprocal obligations, including South Korea coming out of the U.S. nuclear umbrella and the U.S., China and Russian Federation committing not to introduce or threaten to use nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea unexpectedly canceled an official meeting with South Korea last week, which could well boost the worries of the country's conservatives.

Mr Bolton is widely perceived to have a penchant for military action, as illustrated in a column he wrote for the Wall Street Journal in February laying out the legal arguments for strikes on North Korea. It was posted online by an anti-secrecy group.

The national security adviser to President Moon Jae-in said that the summit nearly certainly will go ahead, despite signs to the contrary in recent days. The White House turned heads this week with the release of a commemorative "challenge coin" for the summit, featuring profile engravings of Trump and Kim for the "peace talks".

That meeting has been called into question, after North Korea suggested it's not willing to give up its nuclear weapons. They were not authorized to speak publicly. The national security adviser advocated for verification of North Korea's denuclearization efforts, but he did not seem to imply that the U.S. would try to remove the North Korean leadership.

He added, "Ultimately, maybe someday in the future" you'll "go back to one Korea".

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