Autor: admin
Datum objave: 30.06.2019

Trump, Kim hold sudden talks at DMZ, agree to restart nuclear talks

Good to see you again, Kim said to Trump, adding that he 'never expected' to meet the U.S. president 'at this place'

Trump, Kim hold sudden talks at DMZ, agree to restart nuclear talks

Seoul U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, where they agreed to restart denuclearization talks within weeks and invited each other to visit their capital cities.

During the landmark trip to the DMZ, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea.

Trump indicated he will meet with Kim again, depending on the outcome of the working-level negotiations, raising hopes that the nuclear talks, which have been stalled following the rupture of their February summit, may move forward.

"We've agreed that we're each going to designate a team. The teams will try to work out some details," he said, adding that the U.S. team would be led by U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun.

"Speed is not the object, we want to see if we can do a really comprehensive, good deal," Trump told reporters after the unexpected 50-minute meeting with Kim.

Trump gave no indication whether the United States will ease or lift sanctions against North Korea anytime soon. But he suggested Washington will do so in the course of their renewed talks, saying, "At some point during the negotiation, things can happen."

Trump and Kim initially shook hands standing on either side of a concrete barrier marking the military demarcation line. Then the U.S. leader strode across into the North Korean side and the two men shook hands again and briefly chatted in their third face-to-face contact.

Washington and Seoul remain in a technical state of war with Pyongyang as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.

"Good to see you again," Kim said to Trump, adding that he "never expected" to meet the U.S. president "at this place."

"Stepping across that line was a great honor," Trump told Kim after walking across the border. Some analysts lambasted Trump over the visit, saying he only put on a "political show" as part of his campaign to win re-election next year.

Kim and Trump then together walked over to the South Korean side of the border and South Korean President Moon Jae In joined them. The U.S. and North Korean leaders then held a meeting inside a South Korean facility.

Trump thanked Kim for meeting at the border, with the North Korean leader saying that Washington and Pyongyang should "move toward the future" and "good relations" between the two can overcome difficulties.

Trump, who arrived in South Korea Saturday evening for a two-day trip, flew to the DMZ by helicopter in the afternoon and surveyed the border village of Panmunjeom with Moon from an observation deck.

Before visiting the DMZ, Trump said at a joint news conference with Moon after their meeting in Seoul, "What we're doing today is a step in the right direction."

Gist of Trump's talks with Kim

-- The United States and North Korea agree to resume stalled denuclearization talks within weeks.

-- U.S. sanctions to remain in place, but Trump leaves open possibility of sanctions relief in the course of talks.

-- Trump becomes 1st sitting U.S. president to cross into N. Korean side of DMZ.

-- Trump, Kim invite each other to their capital cities.

-- U.S. team in resumed talks will be led by Stephen Biegun, special representative for North Korea.

On Saturday, Trump expressed willingness to meet with Kim at the DMZ even if only to shake hands, to which North Korea responded positively.

Even after the collapse of their Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, Trump has voiced eagerness to continue talks with Kim, while the United States and North Korea have no diplomatic relations.

Earlier this month, the U.S. and North Korean leaders exchanged letters, in a sign that they remain on good terms with each other.

North Korea's official news agency reported last Sunday that Kim received a personal letter from Trump and expressed "satisfaction" with it, although KCNA did not elaborate on what was communicated.

On June 11, the eve of the one-year anniversary of the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump told reporters that he had received a "beautiful" letter from Kim.

(Television screen at Seoul station.) At their first meeting, Kim and Trump agreed that the United States would provide security guarantees to North Korea in return for "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders, however, fell short of a deal at their second summit in the Vietnamese capital against the backdrop of the gap between Washington's insistence on denuclearization and Pyongyang's demand for sanctions relief.

Arguing that Pyongyang has already implemented concrete steps to attain denuclearization of the peninsula, Kim has called on Washington to fulfill the Singapore agreement and ease sanctions. But Trump is believed to be reluctant to compromise.

North Korea has recently resumed provocative actions such as firing what were thought to be short-range ballistic missiles in early May.

In a speech to the country's legislature in April, Kim asked the United States to shift its policy on denuclearization negotiations by the end of this year, criticizing it for making what he claimed are one-sided demands.

Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pyongyang earlier this month and he is believed to have attempted to obtain Beijing's help to move negotiations forward with Washington.

Xi held bilateral talks with Trump on Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan's western city of Osaka. At the meeting, Xi urged Trump to resume negotiations with North Korea as soon as possible, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

China and North Korea fought together in the Korean War against U.S.-led United Nations forces, and Beijing remains Pyongyang's closest ally. The United States and North Korea have no diplomatic ties.

Panmunjeom, located around 170 kilometers from the North Korean capital and about 50 km from the South Korean capital Seoul, is where the war armistice was signed 66 years ago.

The village was militarized in the wake of an incident in 1976 in which North Korean guards killed two U.S. officers who were cutting down a poplar tree.

But the symbol of conflict between Pyongyang and Seoul has turned into one of cooperation since the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years took place in April 2018 at the Peace House, a facility controlled by the South in Panmunjeom.

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