Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

North Korea Ties Better Since He Became President

North Korea Ties Better Since He Became President

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has requested a second summit with US President Donald Trump and also wants US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Pyongyang soon, according to South Korea's president.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had invited North Korea's foreign minister to meet in NY next week, with the aim of completing its denuclearisation by January 2021, after a Pyongyang summit between the leaders of the two Koreas.

Moon was speaking on his return to Seoul after a three-day summit with Kim in Pyongyang.

"The first meeting between Kim Jong Un and Trump yielded a rather general agreement, but now Kim seems to have more concrete idea about what he wants to exchange with Trump", he said.

Last year Mr Trump engaged in a war of rhetoric with Mr Kim in which he threatened to destroy North Korea.

Agreeing to a declaration on ending the Korean War before North Korea has reduced its offensive threat - including the thousands of artillery guns it has trained on US ally South Korea - is opposed by many who fear that the North is maneuvering to win a withdrawal of the almost 30,000 USA forces in the South.

Such a declaration would be the first step toward a formal peace treaty, but the United States is anxious that it could result in Kim pushing for the removal of USA troops from South Korea.

"We should write another chapter of history between the North and the South by reflecting our new history on this Heaven Lake".

Many South Koreans also feel drawn to the volcano, which, according to Korean mythology, was the birthplace of Dangun, the founder of the first ancient Korean kingdom, and has always been considered one of the most handsome places on the peninsula.

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North Korea says Kim's grandfather and father, Kim Jong-il, were born at Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign to highlight the sacred bloodline of the ruling Kim family. There will also be resistance to rolling back sanctions adopted by the USA unilaterally and through the United Nations without significant progress toward denuclearization and a clearer idea of exactly what North Korea has in its nuclear arsenal and where all its facilities are located.

He also said Kim agreed to have a meeting between two national assemblies and to facilitate cooperation of the municipal governments. Their trip to the mountain on the North Korean-Chinese border, and the striking photo-op that will resonate in both Koreas, followed a day of wide-ranging agreements they trumpeted as a major step toward peace.

"It was inevitable we were going to war in North Korea, and now, . the relationships, I have to tell you, at least on a personal basis, they're very good. It's very much calmed down", Trump told reporters outside the White House.

Kim agreed to allow outside experts to observe the dismantling of its Sohae launch site, where it has tested missile engines and blasted rockets into space.

Washington has demanded concrete action, such as a full disclosure of North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, before agreeing to Pyongyang's key goals, including an easing of worldwide sanctions and an official end to the Korean War.

His latest statement that the process "should be completed by January 2021" may be a signal Washington will not wait forever.

"The statement clearly implies that inter-Korean summits and theatrical promises to dismantle the odd facility simply can't substitute for a negotiating process on the nuclear issue", said the Asia Society Policy Institute's Daniel Russel.

While the president and his wife continued to stay in the North, Chairman Kim Jong-un's gift arrived here.

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