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DPRK seeks global support for peace on Korean Peninsula

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The official media of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) today called on the international community, in particular the countries which share responsibility for peace on the Korean Peninsula, to back peace-building efforts there. The official Minju Joson daily said that the May 24 dismantling of the DPRK’s northern nuclear test ground “testified in practice, not in words, to the firm will of the DPRK to join the international efforts for the total ban on nuclear tests.” DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump are scheduled to meet on June 12 in Singapore, the first such summit to be held since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

“The present situation urgently requires countries responsible for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula to take practical steps for peace on the peninsula from a responsible and serious stand and attitude,” said the daily. “Invariable is the stand of the DPRK to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and make active contributions to world peace and stability,” it said.

Trump claims North Korea summit could be delayed

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After days of touting success in managing to bring the leader of the rogue nuclear regime to the table for negotiations over the end of his nuclear weapons program, now the U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted at the possibility that the planned summit may fall through. The historic summit between the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the U.S. President was scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12. However, in recent weeks, the diplomatic overture took a turn for the worse after North Korea cancelled planned talks with South Korea and even threatened to cancel the meeting with Trump over Seoul’s military drills with the U.S. North Korea officially criticized the joint war games by U.S. and South Korean forces, throwing the Singapore summit in doubt.

U.S. meanwhile insisted that the summit would lead to unilateral North Korean surrender of its nuclear weapons programme. Trump earlier warned Kim Jong Un that if he refuses to make a deal he could face the same fate as the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who was toppled and killed after a NATO-backed insurrection. North Korea said that it supports the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” but interprets it as a gradual, phased and mutual disarmament process.

China, ROK agree to enhance mutual trust, cooperation

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Tokyo Wednesday, vowing to enhance political mutual trust and win-win cooperation. Calling the two countries close neighbors and important cooperation partners, Li said China hopes to enhance strategic communication and political trust with the ROK, expand win-win cooperation and promote further easing of regional situation. The two countries should synergize their development strategies and enhance cooperation in various areas, Li said. The 7th China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting, held earlier in the day in Tokyo, had reached many new consensuses on boosting cooperation, maintaining regional stability and facilitating regional development, Li said.

China will take over the presidency of the trilateral cooperation, he said, vowing to work closely with Japan and the ROK to cement trust and meet each other halfway to boost trilateral cooperation as well as regional integration. Li congratulated the success of the recent inter-Korean summit between Moon and leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un. He welcomed the return of the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula to the track of dialogue and spoke highly of the efforts made by the ROK.

Kim Jong Un holds second meeting with Xi Jinping in China

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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, met Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning province, on May 7-8. In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and major issues of common concern. Xi said he was willing to meet Kim again to make joint efforts to push the healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, realize long-lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

For his part, Kim said both the DPRK-China friendship and the Korean Peninsula situation have undergone meaningful progress since March this year. “These are the positive outcomes of the historic meeting between me and Comrade General Secretary,” he said. At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with General Secretary and inform him of the situation, hoping to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with China, deepen DPRK-China friendship, and promote regional peace and stability.

North Korea tells U.S. to not think peace talks are weakness

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Ahead of a historic summit between the U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean President Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang has alleged that America’s tough talk is a provocation. Commenting on recent statements made by the U.S., North Korea warned the U.S. not to misread peace overtures as a sign of weakness. Further, the Kim Jong Un-led regime has accused the Trump administration of deliberately provoking Pyongyang with tough talk and a show of military strength. A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry told the state-run Korean Central News Agency, “It would not be conducive to addressing the issue if the U.S. miscalculates the peace-loving intention of the DPRK (North Korea) as a sign of ‘weakness’ and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats.”

The statement by North Korea comes at a time when there are merely weeks to go before Trump meets Kim Jong Un in a historic meeting. However, despite all the positive news emerging from the Korean peninsula, the North Korean spokesman accused the Trump administration of misleading the public on Sunday.The spokesman alleged that U.S. claims are misleading that Pyongyang is motivated by fear of U.S. military strength and concerns about aggressive economic sanctions put in place because of the North’s nuclear and missile programs. The spokesman added that movement of U.S. military assets into the region and talk of human rights violations also have hurt the process.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un tells China he is committed to denuclearization

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a visiting Chinese diplomat on Thursday that he is committed to denuclearization, China’s foreign ministry said, as diplomatic efforts to bring lasting peace to the Korean peninsula gather pace. China is North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite its anger at North Korea’ repeated nuclear and missile tests, and its support for strong UN sanctions against the North. China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is visiting North Korea following last week’s historic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North’s Kim Jong Un, when both pledged to improve ties.

The North surprised the world several days before the summit by declaring it would dismantle its nuclear test site to “transparently guarantee” its dramatic commitment to stop all nuclear and missile tests. Wang told Kim that North Korea had seized the day and made a decisive decision, bringing positive changes. China supported an end to the state of war on the peninsula, North Korea’s shift to economic development and the resolution of North Korea’s legitimate security concerns during the denuclearization process, he said.

South Korea considers financing of possible inter-Korea projects: finance minister

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South Korea’s finance minister said on Wednesday (May 2) the government was discussing how to finance possible economic projects with North Korea, although any projects with Pyongyang must first be approved by the international community. “We’re internally carrying out preparations, in terms of what to prepare, and how to co-operate with the international community, and how to finance (possible inter-Korea projects),” Kim Dong Yeon told reporters in Sejong. But we need support from the international community and need to watch the (upcoming) summit between the United States and North Korea,” Kim said, without elaborating on specifics of any government financing.

Kim’s comments come after South Korean President Moon Jae In and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un agreed last Friday on a common goal of a “nuclear-free” peninsula, and to “adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of the railways and roads”. Many speculate that the two Koreas will start joint infrastructure projects as soon as international sanctions on North Korea are lifted. South Korea’s newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported that President Moon gave the North Korean leader a USB drive during last week’s summit. According to a senior Blue House official who briefed local reporters on Monday, the USB contained an e-book and a short presentation illustrating Moon’s so-called “New Economic Map” initiative, which was initially made public last July in a speech in Berlin.South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, says the initiative aims at a “single market” for the two Koreas in order to “lay the foundation for unification” job creation and higher economic growth for both countries, reported JoongAng Ilbo.

North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

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After making a very public promise to end his nuclear weapons program during his recent successful inter-Korean summit with the South Korean President Moon Jae In – now, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un is revealed to have said that his proclamation comes with certain conditions. A South Korean government spokesman has revealed that the North Korean leader told Moon Jae In when they met that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States would agree to formally end the Korean War and promise that it would not invade his country. Further, officials in Seoul also revealed that Kim Jong Un had also vowed to invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown of his the only known underground nuclear test site in North Korea, next month.

The announcement came as a faith-building gesture by the North Korean leader, ahead of a summit meeting with Trump. Further, the South Korean leader also spoke with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to relay Kim’s willingness to also open dialogue with Tokyo, which has also felt threatened by the North’s nuclear weapons and missile development. Young-chan added that North Korea’s promise to invite outsiders to Punggye-ri reflected “Mr. Kim’s determination to actively and pre-emptively deal with the process of verifying denuclearization.”

Kim Jong Un meets high-ranking Chinese diplomat in Pyongyang

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has met with a high-ranking Chinese diplomat in Pyongyang, amid a flurry of diplomacy following Kim’s recent surprise visit to Beijing. Kim’s trip, during which he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, was considered an attempt to repair traditionally warm ties with China that have deteriorated over North Korea’s development of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons technology and China’s enforcement of United Nations economic sanctions. Kim said during his meeting with Song on Saturday that he and Xi “reached important consensus” in Beijing, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. Song agreed that the two leaders had reached consensus, and said China is willing to work with North Korea to safeguard peace on the Korean Peninsula, Xinhua reported. Song Tao, who heads the ruling Communist Party’s International Department, led an art troupe to Pyongyang to attend an arts festival, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Trump: North Korea meeting on nuclear weapons to be in ‘May or early June’

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

U.S. President Donald Trump said he planned to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month or in early June and hoped the discussions would ultimately lead to an end of the North’s nuclear weapons program. “Hopefully, it’ll be a relationship that’s much different than it’s been for many, many years” he said.

According to a U.S. official North Korea also has told the United States it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when Kim meets Trump. The official said U.S. and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently in which Pyongyang directly confirmed its willingness to hold the unprecedented summit. The communications have involved State Department officials talking to North Korea, apparently through its United Nations mission, and intelligence officers from both sides using a separate back channel, the official said.

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