North Korean and American officials hold & # 39; talks behind the scenes & # 39; to arrange a third summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the fate of the growing nuclear arsenal in the north, said the president of South Korea four months after a second meeting between the leaders in Hanoi collapsed without any agreement.
There have been no public meetings between Washington and Pyongyang since the outbreak of the Hanoi summit. But the prospects for resuming US and North Korea diplomacy have improved since Trump and Kim recently exchanged personal letters.
Trump called the letter from Kim & # 39; beautiful & # 39 ;, while Kim described Trump as & # 39; excellent & # 39; although the content of their letters was not revealed.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday that Trump and Kim's willingness to engage in dialogue has never faded and their recent exchanges of letters prove that.
Earlier this week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un read a letter from US president Donald Trump on a photo
Moon, a liberal who met Kim three times last year, has entered into dialogue with the North as a way to make peace on the Korean peninsula a core piece of his presidency.
He played a central role in facilitating negotiations between the US and North Korea, even though those efforts were sometimes overshadowed by the Trump-Kim talks that helped him mediate.
Moon said he doesn't see the Hanoi summit as a failure. He said he thinks the meeting was an opportunity for both Washington and Pyongyang to better understand each other's positions and to put everything they want on the negotiating table & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The success of denuclearization and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula cannot be determined by a summit or two, & # 39; said Moon, adding that discussions in Hanoi will form the basis for future discussions. & # 39; Both parties clearly understand the need for dialogue & # 39 ;, he added.
Despite the stalled nuclear negotiations, both Trump and Kim have described their personal relationship as good.
When asked if the recent letter from Kim contained a mention about another summit, Trump said: & # 39; Maybe there was. & # 39;
& # 39; But we, you know, we will do that at some point & # 39 ;, Trump told reporters in the White House on Tuesday. & # 39; Get along very well. He doesn't do nuclear testing, & he said.
Trump and Kim allegedly work in secret to reach a third summit on nuclear weapons arsenal in North Korea
In yet another reminder of North Korea's continued distrust of the United States, his Foreign Ministry said earlier Wednesday that it would not surrender to US-led sanctions and accused Washington of trying to give us & # 39; bring our knees & # 39 ;.
Kim has said that the North is a & # 39; new way & # 39; would seek if the United States persisted with sanctions and pressure. After his setback in Hanoi, Kim traveled to the Russian Far East in April for his first summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kim also organized Chinese president Xi Jinping in Pyongyang last week for their fifth summit since March last year, and experts say the reach of the north with its traditional allies is aimed at strengthening the leverage effect with the Trump government.
Moon said he sees the growing diplomacy of the North with Beijing and Moscow as a positive development in resolving the nuclear impasse.
& # 39; China and Russia have continued to play constructive roles to resolve the problem of the Korean Peninsula peacefully, & # 39; he said. & # 39; I hope that China and Russia will play specific parts to help the North resume the dialogue at an early stage. & # 39;
Moon did not explain whether American and North Korean officials had personal meetings and, if so, where they took place. He also did not clarify who were conversation partners or how close they were to setting up a third Kim-Trump summit.
President Trump is set for a two-day visit to South Korea, where he will meet President Moon Jae-in (right) to discuss denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. The president was last welcomed in South Korea in 2017 (photo)
Trump's best envoy on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, is visiting South Korea on Thursday, and some experts say he may use his trip as an opportunity to meet North Korean officials in a Korean border village.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the US was willing to & # 39; with a wink & # 39; resume talks with North Korea if the North were to signal that it wanted to discuss denuclearization.
Despite a possible resumption of negotiations, it is still unclear whether Washington and Pyongyang can ultimately reach agreements that can satisfy both parties.
The Hanoi Summit fell apart after Trump rejected Kim & # 39; s calls for major sanctions in exchange for dismantling his main nuclear complex, something US officials see as a partial denuclearization step.
Kim has now fired rockets and other weapons into the sea and asked Trump to work out mutually acceptable agreements by the end of December.
United States officials maintain sanctions against North Korea in place until North Korea makes major steps toward nuclear disarmament.
North Korea has long been opposed to the significant military presence of the US in South Korea and wants to be sure that this is not the target of the US and South Korea.
It sees his pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as insurance against military action.
In his written answers, Moon said that during her conversations, he was a & # 39; flexible but resolute person & # 39; found.
He said he believes Kim's & # 39; unambiguous decision to move from the past to the future & # 39; by pursuing economic growth on building a nuclear arsenal.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo joins President Trump in South Korea. He said he hoped that correspondence between Trump and Kim Jong Un would pave the way for a resurgence of stalled nuclear talks
The South Korean leader reiterated that Kim never linked denuclearization to the military alliance between South Korea and the US or a withdrawal of US troops when they met.
Apart from the unofficial discussions in Washington-Pyongyang, Moon said the two Korea & # 39; s also had a dialogue through unspecified & # 39; various channels & # 39; and repeated that he is ready to meet Kim again at any place and time.
& # 39; It depends on Chairman Kim Jong Un, & # 39; wrote Moon. & # 39; I am willing to personally meet with Chairman Kim at any time without being limited by time, place or formalities. & # 39;
Last year we saw a tidal wave of inter-Korean exchanges and & # 39; s cooperation programs between the Korea & # 39; s split since the end of the Korean War 1950-53 along the world's most heavily fortified border.
But North Korea has considerably reduced its dialogue and engagement with South Korea since the end of the Hanoi Summit.
South Korea is now only busy with a search for Korean war dead on the border, which it had to perform together with North Korea.
North Korea has also ignored South Korean proposals for joint efforts to prevent the spread of highly contagious African swine fever following an outbreak in the north.
Moon, who has emphasized that South Korea is the & # 39; driver & # 39; s seat & # 39; s should be in international attempts to deal with North Korea, reiterated its view that the resumption of inter-Korean economic projects currently hampered by UN sanctions will cause further denuclearization steps from the north.
After the Hanoi summit, Moon said Seoul would consult with Washington & # 39; about resuming operations in a Korean factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and restarting South Korean trips to the scenic resort of Diamond Mountain in the north.
Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said he hoped a letter Trump sent to Kim could pave the way for a resurgence of stalled nuclear talks that came to a halt in Hanoi earlier this year
While acknowledging that the resumption of such joint projects between Korea & # 39; s would depend on substantial progress in talks between the US and North Korea, Moon said that improved economic relations between Korea & # 39; s & # 39; conductive & # 39; would be for the larger nuclear negotiations.
& # 39; History has shown that North Korean nuclear threats diminish when inter-Korean relations are good & & # 39 ;, Moon wrote.
He said the decommissioning of the Yongbyon nuclear complex that Kim offered in Hanoi could mean that the denuclearization process of the North & # 39; an irreversible phase & # 39; has commenced if it has been fully demolished and verified
He said that & # 39; substantive process & # 39; in the diplomacy of the US and North Korea, the international community could also help to partially or gradually relax the U.N. sanctions.
Yongbyon has facilities to produce both plutonium and highly enriched uranium, two important nuclear ingredients.
North Korea calls the complex & # 39; the heart & # 39; of its nuclear program, while many external experts say it is an aging plant and it is assumed that North Korea has additional secret uranium enrichment facilities.
Moon previously reiterated that Kim is genuinely willing to trade in his nuclear weapons for economic and security benefits, but that it is important to create an environment where the North could focus on taking relevant disarmament steps.
& # 39; President Kim needs to be helped on the path to that goal in a way that supports his involvement in nuclear decommissioning, & # 39; wrote Moon. & # 39; I think creating a security environment in which President Kim can act decisively without having to worry about nuclear decommissioning is the quickest way to achieve diplomacy in a new nuclear way, & # 39; Moon added, without specifying the safety concessions that Washington and Seoul could do.
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