Tuesday, May 22, 2018

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Trump-Kim summit in play as Moon visits White House



US President Donald Trump held talks with South Korean president Moon Jae In at the White House that could decide the fate of the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon Jae-in jets into Washington on a mission to salvage a rare diplomatic opening between the US and North Korea that is in trouble almost before it begins.

Trump had agreed to meet inscrutable “Supreme Leader” Kim in Singapore on June 12, but the first-ever US-North Korea summit is now in serious doubt, with both sides expressing reservations.

South Korea — worried about Kim’s bellicose weapons testing and Trump’s similarly bellicose warnings about a looming war — was instrumental in convincing the two Cold War foes to sit down and talk.

Moon sent his own national security advisor to the White House in March, carrying an offer of talks and word that North Korea may be willing to abandon nuclear weapons, an enticing prospect.

Trump surprised his guests, his own aides and the world by summarily accepting the meeting, seeing an opportunity to “do a deal” and avoid military confrontation.

Pyongyang is on the verge of marrying nuclear and missile technology allowing it to hit the continental United States with a nuke, a capability Washington sees as wholly unacceptable.

Since then, there has been a landmark series of intra-Korean meetings, two trips to Pyongyang by Mike Pompeo — first as CIA director then as America’s top diplomat — and three American citizens have been released from the North.

But after several Trumpian victory laps, North Korea’s willingness to denuclearize is now in serious doubt.

Earlier this month, North Korea denounced US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment” and cancelled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the South in protest over joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.

Trump responded by saying the meeting may or may not take place.

Vice President Mike Pence warned in an interview on Monday night that there was “no question” that Trump would be prepared to walk away from the talks with Kim if it looks like they won’t yield results and that the president was not just after a public relations triumph.

Pence said that both the Clinton and Bush administrations “got played” by North Korea when Washington previously tried to get Pyongyang to denuclearize but the current administration would not make the same mistakes.

“It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump,” he told Fox News.

Source: AFP

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ask comments and questions here!