Political Parties Give Mixed Reaction to S. Korea-US Summit

14 April, 2019, 03:45 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • PYONGYANG NORTH KOREA- MAY 31 2018 North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. Valery Sharifulin  TASS

In Washington, President Donald Trump and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Thursday and agreed on the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea.

Both Trump and Moon are heavily invested in bringing North Korea out of the cold but the unsuccessful summit in Vietnam at the end of February was a setback for the two allies that has yet to be resolved. "We want sanctions to remain in place, and frankly I had the option of significantly increasing them".

"I think keeping sanctions in place sets real limits on the trajectory of North-South reconciliation, leaving reopening Kaesong Industrial Zone and Mount Kumgang tourist project off the table for now", said Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

It was the first time Kim stated North Korea's position on the second U.S. But he didn't speak to the sanctions issue as he and Trump spoke with reporters at the start of their talks.

"At the right time would I have great support. Things could happen. You can work out, step by step, pieces".

Negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear program appear to be stalled, and there is uncertainty over whether Kim is considering backing out of talks or restarting nuclear and missile tests.

Three of the senior officials involved in nuclear negotiations with the United States have been re-elected or newly elected to members of Kim Jong Un's state commission, including former military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, who travelled to Washington and met Trump twice ahead of Kim Jong Un's two summits with the US president a year ago.

Moon said it's important to maintain the "momentum of dialogue" and express a positive outlook to the global community that a "third U.S". "His latest message is that North Korea will further develop self-reliance rather than give in to Washington's demands".

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Ken Gause, director of the International Affairs Group at the Center for Naval Analyses, said failing to move the USA position on sanctions could cost Moon his credibility with Kim. "Now we believe that you will be able to solve this problem through a dialogue".

There had been widespread speculation that Moon would ask Trump for sanction exemptions in order to allow inter-Korean economic engagement to get underway.

The White House is always hopeful for finding out a peaceful resolution to the North Korea standoff.

The three minor opposition parties expressed hope that the summit will reignite dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang while the Bareunmirae Party said it confirmed differences between the allies over how to denuclearize the North and the scope of sanctions relief.

With Trump already campaigning for re-election, Cha said, "It's hard for me to think Trump will risk a third summit".

At a similar plenary session a year ago, Kim formally announced a "new strategic line" that focused on economic progress and improving North Koreans' lives, rather than the previous two-pronged approach of economic and nuclear weapons development.

'The North Koreans seem focused on sanctions relief at the moment, meaning a lack of progress without at least partial relief, ' he said.

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