Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Putin asks for urgent summit with Kim Jong

A man watches a television news report showing Korean Leaders to Meet Next Month in Pyongyang
Deanna Wagner | 16 August, 2018, 12:01

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his readiness to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "in the nearest time", Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency said Wednesday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is brandishing the carrot, not the stick.

"Sanctions will remain in place until North Korea takes concrete and verifiable steps towards denuclearization", said Harris during an address at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul.

Those sanctions, and others imposed separately by the U.S., have become increasingly frustrating for North Korea.

"I hope North Korea's complete denuclearization and the United States' corresponding measures will be swiftly pursued", Moon added.

The pair, alongside other North Korean officials, feasted on filet mignon, corn puree, and homemade vanilla ice cream, and later went on to meet Donald Trump and other administration officials at the White House. It would provide North Korean industries an overland rail connection to China, Russia and even Europe.

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech at a ceremony held in Yongsan, Seoul on August 15, 2018 to mark the 73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule.

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"North Korean and U.S. diplomats secretly held discussions in the inter-Korean village of Panmunjom last Sunday ... amid speculations that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may be making another visit to Pyongyang soon", the paper reported.

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that no official meetings or negotiations are now planned between Washington and Pyongyang, but that informal talks continue on a regular basis.

Putin also said the relations between the two states keep developing in a "friendly and constructive manner". He said denuclearization must come before the sanctions are eased. He will visit Pyongyang in September to hold another summit with Kim.

Unified economic zones in the border regions could further expand economic growth for both Koreas.

During their first summit in April, Moon and Kim agreed to seek a formal end to 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty, leaving the sides in a technical state of war.

But while they have agreed to march together at the opening ceremony and jointly compete in several events, public interest in cross-border sports cooperation has waned since the 2018 Winter Olympics, where the fanfare surrounding the North's participation stole much of hosts South Korea's thunder.

The Kaesong complex was shut down in February 2016 by a former conservative government in response to North Korea's fourth nuclear test a month earlier.