N Korea recommits to denuclearising Korean peninsula

Saul Bowman
September 6, 2018

US President Donald Trump on Thursday welcomed Kim Jong Un's remarks saying his faith in Trump was unchanged as the North Korean leader and that Pyongyang aimed to achieve denuclearization within Trump's first term in office.

Kim restated his commitment to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula Thursday.

Kim says that if the USA takes measures that acknowledge the efforts made so far, . he will accept stronger steps on denuclearization.

Trump began this morning's twitter activity complimenting Kim Jong Un, who had tossed POTUS a lifeline by proclaiming his "unwavering faith in President Trump". "We will get it done together!"

Pyongyang has said during previous rounds of failed talks that it would consider abandoning its nuclear programme if the U.S. withdrew its forces from South Korea and removed its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

However, US officials may put spanner in the works as they insisted that the peace accord can not be reached before North Korea provides all information on its nuclear program, allows global inspections and gives up a certain number of its projectiles during the early stages of the talks.

In New Delhi Thursday, Secretary of State Pompeo, the former U.S. intelligence chief who heads the USA negotiating effort, struck a sober note, saying there is still much work to do. For his part, Trump had abruptly canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to Pyongyang, citing a lack of progress in denuclearization talks.

"It is the case that there is still an enormous amount of work to do", Pompeo told a news conference in New Delhi.

He added: "Chairman Kim asked us to convey the message to the United States that the USA [should] help create situations where he would feel his decision to denuclearise was a right move".

The announcement followed the hand delivery of a letter from Mr Moon to Kim by Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's national security advisor, and spy chief Suh Hoon, who visited the North Korean capital on Wednesday. Picture taken September 5, 2018.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday said it had no information to share on the matter.

Kim, however, expressed to Chung that he was frustrated by skepticism in the worldwide community over his commitment to denuclearization.

"He said he would appreciate that such good faith is accepted with good faith", Chung said.

"He said he's pre-emptively taken steps necessary for denuclearization and wants to see these goodwill measures being met with goodwill measures", he added.

USA officials have previously said they have already made concessions, such as halting joint military exercises with South Korea.

"He particularly emphasized that he has never said anything negative about President Trump", South Korea envoy Chung Eui-yong said after the meeting.

The two past inter-Korean summits, in April and May, removed fears of war and paved way for the meeting between Kim and Trump in June.

North Korea has accused the United States of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands for denuclearisation and holding back on the end-of-war declaration.

Mr. Moon has made an end-of-war declaration an important premise of his peace agenda with North Korea.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, leaving the peninsula technically still at war.

"The United States shouldn't delay any further an end-of-war declaration, which the US president promised at the Singapore summit", the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial.

North Korea has long sought a formal end to the war but US officials have said an end-of-war declaration could weaken North Korea's incentive for denuclearization, and raise questions about the 28,500 USA troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the three-year war. Professor Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies said Kim sees the U.S. agreeing to a formal end to the war as a "litmus test" to determine whether Washington is honest in moving forward.

"Additionally, because of our much tougher trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were", Trump said at the time.

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