U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that a fourth summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “could happen soon” as diplomacy over the North’s nuclear program has stalled.
Trump didn’t elaborate in comments to reporters at the United Nations in New York, and it was once not lucid whether concrete plans were in the works for another summit meant to address a growing diplomatic deadlock over the North’s development of nuclear-armed missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.
There is extreme interest, particularly in Japan and South Korea, in if Trump and Kim can settle differences that have led to the stalemate despite past high-profile meetings. The sides have failed even to establish lower-level negotiations on restarting talks.
At the heart of the dispute is the impoverished North’s desire for relief from harsh sanctions imposed as it has boosted its nuclear and missile capabilities. Washington, then again, is demanding that Pyongyang first take more comprehensive steps to dismantle a nuclear program that has been painstakingly built over decades.
In recent months, the North has displayed its unhappiness with the hard U.S. stance in a series of short-range weapons tests that experts see as an attempt to increase pressure on Washington and Seoul and build leverage ahead of any new talks.
Trump has repeatedly played down tests of weapons that could strike allies South Korea and Japan, which host tens of thousands of U.S. troops. He also has trumpeted the strength of his relationship with Kim.
Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader and the first to set foot on North Korean territory.
As he arrived at the U.N. for the start of the yearly General Meeting of world leaders, Trump responded to a question approximately when he deliberate to meet with Kim, saying, “It could happen soon. It could happen soon.”
In comments throughout a later assembly, Trump said of North Korean diplomacy: “It’s moving along pretty polite, in fact.”
Trump was once scheduled to meet later Monday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the motive force in the back of the initial diplomacy that led to the first Trump-Kim summit final year and replaced threats of war in 2017.
North Korea reportedly hasn’t sent its top diplomat to the U.N. meetings, making the Moon-Trump talks potentially the highest-level diplomatic possibility to make progress this week on the nuclear standoff.
Speaking Monday of that first summit with Kim, in Singapore, which critics have called more surface than substance, Trump said, “People don’t give that assembly as much credit as it deserves and the relationship we established. It was once a tremendous success.”
Of Kim, he said they “in reality got to realize each and every other there.”
Trump is set to speak before the U.N. General Meeting on Tuesday, two years after he used that podium to deride Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and to threaten to destroy North Korea.
The second one Kim-Trump summit, in Hanoi, Vietnam, collapsed in February, then the leaders met briefly in June at the Korean border, where Trump abruptly stepped into the North and became the first American president to take action. Since then, there was little obvious progress.
In recent days, then again, North Korea has praised Trump for saying Washington may pursue an unspecified “new method” in nuclear negotiations in addition to for his decision to fire his hawkish former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
North Korea also has hinted that some sort of diplomacy could soon renew, but it says it’ll not believe abandoning its nuclear weapons unless outside threats are removed. The North says annual U.S.-South Korean military drills and the immense presence of American troops in the region are proof of U.S. hostility toward Pyongyang.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
Sep 24, 2019 03:24 IST