Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

White House Says North Korea Meeting Will Happen Only With 'Concrete' Action

Recent satellite images of the Yongbyon plant Recent satellite images of the Yongbyon plant
Patty Aguilar | 10 March, 2018, 23:29

It remains to be seen whether a summit, if it takes place, could lead to any meaningful breakthrough after an unusually provocative year. "They warned that Mr Kim could change his mind or break the promises he made about halting nuclear and missile tests during talks", the daily said. Failure? Or merely the start of another long and hard process meant to remove the North's nuclear capabilities? Tillerson said that Trump has been open to mere talks and a meeting with Kim "for some time", and had decided on Thursday that "the time was right".

Since Kim met Chung and his delegation on Monday in Pyongyang, the North has remained silent on the contents of the offer and could seek to move the goalposts in the run-up to the high-stakes meeting.

On Thursday, South Korean officials made a stunning announcement that Trump had agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner said America's approach to North Korea still needs not just a drop "but a whole bucket of reality".

"North Korea has not conducted a Missile Tests since November 28, 2017 and has promised not to do so through our meetings".

World leaders welcomed prospects for a possible thaw in the Korea standoff including China, which is North Korea's largest trading partner and its sole major ally. It's a huge gamble, a big risk, but worth taking...

Senator Mark R Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that diplomacy is the right path forward to deal with North Korea, but at the same time, due to Pyongyang's history of obfuscation and worldwide defiance, the United States must proceed with caution.

There are about 28,000 USA troops stationed in South Korea, and more would be deployed to the peninsula in the event of war.

Explaining Trump's decision-making about the meeting, Tillerson said that the US had witnessed a shift from North Korea that became apparent when a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang, then traveled to Washington to brief USA officials on the rare meeting.

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He seemed unaware that Pyongyang had been seeking a one-on-one meeting with a USA president since the 1990s at least.

"The North Koreans are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions and, in close coordination with our allies, we have consistently increased the pressure on the Kim regime", he said.

As we await a possible summit, there is every reason to be concerned that Kim may be hoping to create a "Neville Chamberlain moment" by offering President Trump a "freeze" of the North's nuclear testing program that the USA president could then point to as the outcome of the summit.

But while the meticulous Obama practiced caution in handling Kim Jong Un, the blustery Trump succumbed to his own penchant for reality TV showmanship, culminating with his shock decision on Thursday to agree to meet with North Korea's leader and become the first sitting USA president to do so.

The US will begin with key Korea positions in the state department vacant.

Kim might even free several American citizens now detained in the North to brighten the atmosphere of his summit with Trump, Choi said.

When asked about what had changed in 24 hours, Tillerson made a distinction between "talks" with North Korea, and structured "negotiations".

It is welcome news that two of the world's most bombastic leaders will sit down to talk seriously about one of the globe's most perilous standoffs. But there was no arrangement before George W. Bush's election. "The administration must go into any meeting with a plan to ensure that negotiations with Kim Jong-un produce real results, not a photo-op that lends legitimacy to North Korea's murderous regime", Warner said. China says it "firmly opposes" U.S. President Donald Trump's tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response.

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