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Kim Jong-un invited Trump to meet face-to-face “as soon as possible,” according to South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong, saying:
“North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. I told President Trump that at our meeting (in Pyongyang), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he’s committed to denuclearization” – provided his country’s security is guaranteed, what’s been unattainable throughout the post-WW II period.
On Thursday, 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!”
According to Chung, a meeting between both leaders will take place by May. North Korea will suspend nuclear and ballistic missile tests ahead of and during talks.
Trump told Chung he’ll meet with Kim “to achieve permanent denuclearization.”
He and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe also agreed to continue applying maximum pressure on Pyongyang, Abe to visit the White House in April.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said
“(w)e look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
The date and location of Trump’s meeting with Kim remains to be announced. Throughout its history, no US president ever met with a DPRK leader.
Ahead of Chung’s announcement, Rex Tillerson said talks with North Korea were likely a long way off, adding
“we just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in cautiously said
“(t)his is just a start. (W)e can’t be optimistic just yet.”
Washington is hostile toward all sovereign independent countries like North Korea, wanting them transformed into pro-Western ones, observing US rules.
They include unrestricted free market access for its corporations, privatizing state enterprises at fire sale prices, deep social spending cuts, mass layoffs, workers paid poverty wages, and other neoliberal policies.
America is a notorious deal-breaker, its history strewn with broken promises. Betrayal is longstanding US policy – time and again agreeing to one thing, then doing another.
Its agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The historical record is clear – one broken promise after another since the beginning of the republic. Rare exceptions prove the rule.
US policymakers reject cooperative relations with all other nations, wanting America’s interests served.
Kim and Trump meeting and whatever follows won’t likely change decades of US hostility toward the DPRK – not as long as its sovereign independence remains unchanged, refusing to become a US vassal state – the price Washington demands to be taken off its target list.
A Final Comment
Below is Chung’s full statement on Thursday:
“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.”
South 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.”
South 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.”
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”