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9 February, 2019 10:52:12 AM

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N Korea talks productive, summit in Hanoi: Trump

Independent Online Desk
N Korea talks productive, summit in Hanoi: Trump
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US President Donald Trump has announced that his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi at the end of this month as the two sides seek to inject fresh momentum into denuclearization talks.

The announcement came after the top U.S. envoy to North Korea wrapped up three days of talks with his counterpart in Pyongyang.

“My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!”

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun met with Kim Hyok Chol, the North’s Special Representative for U.S. Affairs of the State Affairs Commission, for three days from Wednesday in the North Korean capital, the State Department said in a statement, but gave few indications of any progress in those meetings.

“Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim discussed advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim’s Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming U.S.-DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said using the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,

Trump and Kim met in Singapore last June in the first summit between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, a meeting that resulted in a vaguely worded pledge “to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The State Department also said that Biegun and his counterpart had agreed to meet again ahead of the second summit, but gave no indication of any progress in the talks.

Just weeks ahead of the planned summit the two sides have at times appeared far from bridging significant gaps over how and if the North will relinquish its nuclear weapons program.

Biegun said last week that his talks in the North Korean capital would be aimed at seeking progress on commitments made in Singapore and mapping out “a set of concrete deliverables” for the second summit.

In a speech at Stanford University in California last week, Biegun said that he would be aiming in his talks for “a roadmap of negotiations and declarations going forward, and a shared understanding of the desired outcomes of our joint efforts.”

Pyongyang has yet to take concrete steps in that direction, observers have said, and nuclear talks had been effectively deadlocked in the months after the Singapore summit.

The North has repeatedly blasted the U.S. for doing little to reciprocate for the actions it says it has taken to dismantle and destroy some nuclear weapons facilities, demanding that punishing U.S.-led sanctions be lifted and urging a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Biegun said in his speech that the United States had told North Korea it was prepared to pursue commitments made in Singapore “simultaneously and in parallel,” and that Washington is willing to discuss “many actions” to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

He said Washington was willing to discuss “many actions” to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and that Trump was ready to end the 1950-53 Korean War,

Trump, eager for a foreign policy win to distract from the ongoing Russia probe and other investigations, had been pushing for a second summit despite the lack of progress on the denuclearization front. The U.S. leader and top officials have repeatedly stressed the economic benefits for North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons program.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry in Seoul as saying that Biegun had arrived in the South Korean capital from Pyongyang on Friday evening and would meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Saturday morning to provide a briefing on the results of his talks. Bieguin was also to brief Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, who was sent to Seoul for the briefing the same day,according to The Japan Times.

NS

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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