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Global Geopolitical Series: Trump to meet Kim Jong-un by May

After a special delegation of South Korean President Moon Jae-In met with North Korea’s Supreme leader Kim Jong-un on Monday, they traveled to the United States to brief President Trump of the reportedly successful meeting.

A statement from North Korea’s official news agency said, “Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, Monday hosted a dinner for the members of the delegation of the special envoy of the South Korean president on a visit to Pyongyang.

At the dinner hall, the Supreme Leader, together with his wife Ri Sol Ju, warmly greeted Jong Ui Yong, chief of the State Security Office of Chongwadae who is the special envoy of President Moon Jae In; So Hun, director of the National Intelligence Service; Chon Hae Song, vice-minister of Unification; Kim Sang Gyun, vice-director of the National Intelligence Service; and Yun Kon Yong, chief of the Office of State Affairs Situation of Chongwadae.

Attending there were Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the WPK; Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the WPK; and officials concerned.

The dinner proceeded in a warm atmosphere overflowing with compatriotic feelings.”

According to South Korean media, Kim Jong-Un also reportedly reaffirmed his will to vigorously advance the north-south relations and write a new history of national reunification”. According to reports, he has instructed relevant authorities to rapidly take practical steps to accelerate the talks. The sides also emphasized the importance of the new momentum in national reconciliation that was achieved during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

The meeting seemed to be more successful than it was initially perceived as it was revealed after the South Korean delegation briefed President Trump that Mr. Kim invited President Trump for a face to face meeting.

The delegation reportedly handed over the President a personal letter from Mr. Kim though the existence of such letter wasn’t officially confirmed. President Trump said after the briefing that South Korea has an important announcement to make around 7:00 EST. Here is the full statement from Republic of Korea National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong,

“Good evening.  Today, I had the privilege of briefing President Trump on my recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea.  I’d like to thank President Trump, the Vice President, and his wonderful national security team, including my close friend, General McMaster.

I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture.  I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s personal gratitude for President Trump’s leadership.

I told President Trump that, in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is committed to denuclearization.  Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.  He understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.  And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.

President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.

The Republic of Korea, along with the United States, Japan, and our many partners around the world remain fully and resolutely committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  Along with President Trump, we are optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution.

The Republic of Korea, the United States, and our partners stand together in insisting that we not repeat the mistakes of the past, and that the pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.

Thank you.”

It is quite clear, while President Trump’s maximum pressure strategy was well criticized, it is producing unprecedented results. President Trump tweeted, “Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

 

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