After a lot of diplomatic shifts, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are back on the same page. They both say that the historic summit of June 12th in Singapore is still on.
At a press conference in Seoul on Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the strongman of North Korea had reaffirmed his commitment to “complete” denuclearization of the peninsula and to maintain the summit with Donald Trump.
He acknowledged, however, that Pyongyang and Washington may differ on the meaning of this “denuclearization” and urged both parties to engage in discussions to clarify these points of difference.
Although they share the same goal, they need to agree on a plan to make it happen. And this step could be complicated.
Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea
If the White House demands a “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” on the part of North Korea, Pyongyang said it will not give up its nuclear arsenal until it is convinced of the security guarantees offered in exchange by the United States.
An important summit
The South Korean president added that Kim Jong-un and himself have agreed on the importance of this unprecedented summit between North Korea and the United States after a secret and improvised meeting , Saturday, in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.
The North Korean news agency KCNA also claimed that Kim Jong-un reiterated “his determination to hold this historic summit.”
From Washington, Trump told reporters that things are “going very well” and that the goal of hosting the summit in Singapore on June 12 remains unchanged.
Thursday, the US president had canceled the Singapore summit , before changing his mind the next day, evoking the possible continuation of this meeting .
“Kim Jong-un thanked Moon Jae-in for the great efforts he has made in [organizing] the summit between North Korea and the United States,” the news agency said. -Korean after the surprise meeting on Saturday.
Future “high-level” talks between the two Koreas are due to take place next Friday, according to KCNA.
The Chinese Foreign Minister told Reuters on Sunday that he “really” hoped that the North Korea-US summit could take place as planned and be a success. He reiterated his call for patience and goodwill to both parties.
“We have always believed that direct contacts and dialogue between the leaders of North Korea and the United States were crucial to resolve the nuclear issue on the peninsula,” he added.
Moon Jae-in said that North Korea is not convinced that it can trust the security assurances given by the United States. “However, during the summit between the United States and South Korea, President Trump clearly emphasized that we should not only see the end of hostility between the two countries, but also at the beginning of economic cooperation, if North Korea opts for denuclearization, “he said.
Moon Jae-in also said, “I invite North Korea and the United States to confirm everyone’s will by talking about their problems and communicating directly. ”
A South Korean official later said the two Koreas were negotiating for a possible non-aggression pact.