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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.

U.S., South Korea hold talks to soothe North Korea tensions

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After North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, which are scheduled to be held on June 12 in Singapore – U.S. and South Korea huddled up to discuss the future course of action. Today, the South Korean President Moon Jae In and Trump reportedly held discussions to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track. South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement that Jae In and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, reportedly exchanging their views on North Korea’s recent reactions. The presidential official said, “The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea-U.S. summit set on June 12, including the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit.” On Tuesday, Jae In and Trump are set to meet in Washington – in a meeting that was planned to be a prelude to the historic summit that is scheduled to be held between North Korea and the U.S.North Korea has showed a dramatic change in tone. Putting weeks of Korean diplomacy in jeopardy, North Korea thrashed Seoul, calling it “ignorant and incompetent.”

Two Koreas to hold talks as North prepares to shut test site

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The South and North will hold a high-level inter-Korea meeting on May 16 in the Peace House in Panmunjom, to discuss the implementation of ‘Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” several media reports quoted the Unification Ministry, as saying, in a statement. The two sides are likely to discuss measures related to the implementation of agreements reached at the intra-Korean summit in April. The meet is scheduled at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the world’s most heavily guarded border, separating the two countries. According to several media reports, Wednesday’s inter-Korea talks will see North Korea send a 29-member delegation led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country’. From South Korea, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will lead a team of five.

This comes ahead of North Korea’s scheduled dismantlement of its nuclear test site later this month in a bid to uphold its previous pledge to discontinue nuclear tests. A ceremony for the dismantling of the facility reportedly has been scheduled between May 23-25. It is pertinent to mention that the announcement of the dismantlement of the nuclear test site came after US President Donald Trump announced that he will hold a meet with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

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.”

North and South Korea have set up a telephone hotline between their two leaders

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Ahead of the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade, officials have announced that North and South Korea have set up a telephone hotline between their two leaders. This is the first time such a direct line of communication has been set up and Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In, who are due to meet later this month, now have the option of speaking directly before the meeting. According to officials from both sides, a successful test call was conducted through the hotline established between the South’s presidential Blue House and the North’s state affairs commission, which is headed by Kim Jong Un. Last month, both sides agreed to set up the phone link when Moon’s top security adviser travelled to Pyongyang for an unprecedented meeting with Kim, who had then agreed to hold the inter-Korean summit.

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