Moon: Kim willing to accept "stronger measures" on denuclearization
Sep 07 2018
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's national security chief, Chung Eui-yong, who led a special delegation to the North Korean capital a day earlier to meet Kim, told a televised news conference that the two sides had also set the date for Moon's visit to Pyongyang for September 18 to 20.
Stephen Biegun, named Special Representative for North Korea last month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will travel to Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing between September 10 and September 15.
During the meeting, the North Korean leader "expressed a firm determination toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as an intention to work closely with the US.to achieve the goal", Chung said.
"He particularly emphasized that he has never said anything negative about President Trump", Chung said. Moon's popularity at home has fallen since his earlier meetings with Kim and the Trump-Kim summit. "We will get it done together!"
Critics of the most recent negotiation efforts say North Korea has, in the past, said it would end its nuclear program. Last month, North Korea also returned 55 sets of human remains to the United States.
Pyongyang apparently wants to first achieve an official end to the seven-decade state of war with South Korea, while Washington wants to start immediately on the long process of denuclearisation.
In New Delhi on Thursday, Secretary of State Pompeo, the former USA intelligence chief who heads the U.S. negotiating effort, struck a sober note, saying there is still much work to do.
"But the work of convincing Chairman Kim to make this strategic shift that we've talked about for a brighter future for the people of North Korea continues", Pompeo said.
The US embassy in Seoul said it had no information to share on the matter.
Kim also told Chung that he was concerned that the global community did not fully "understand his intentions" to denuclearize, and urged them to recognize the "goodwill" behind early moves that he said demonstrated his commitment.
News 1 reported Thursday the biggest USA warship based in Asia could arrive in South Korea for joint exercises.
South Korean national security advisor Chung Eui-yong, who met with Kim, said the North Korean leader also emphasised that his "trust in Trump remains unchanged", the comment which led to the U.S. president's tweet.
Trump spoke to Moon on the evening before Chung's trip and asked Moon to act as "chief negotiator" between Washington and Pyongyang, the spokesman said. Those moves were widely seen as symbolic gestures ahead of Kim's landmark June summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore. But negotiations have made little progress, while signs North Korea has maintained work on its weapons have emerged. Fighting in the 1950-53 war was halted by an armistice, which has governed the conflict ever since. Is the North Korean leader's offer for peace for real?
United States officials have said such a declaration could weaken North Korea's incentive for denuclearization, and create uncertainty about the objective of 28,500 USA troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the three-year war.
Analysis of satellite images in July showed the North had also begun dismantling a key facility for its missile engines and rocket launches, which Trump said Kim had promised at the summit. "Kim is trying to prove his sincerity".