OSAKA/SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Saturday he would like to see North Korean chief Kim Jong Un this weekend on the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, and North Korea stated a gathering would be “meaningful” if it occurred.
Trump, who’s in Osaka, Japan, for a Group of 20 summit, is due to arrive in South Korea afterward Saturday. He is scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday.
If Trump and Kim have been to meet, it would be for the third time in simply over a yr, and 4 months since their second summit, in Vietnam, broke down with no progress on U.S. efforts to press North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons.
Trump made the provide to meet Kim in a touch upon Twitter about his journey to South Korea.
“While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!” he stated.
Trump later instructed reporters his provide to Kim was a spur-of-the-moment thought: “I just thought of it this morning.”
“We’ll be there and I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now. He may not be in North Korea,” he stated.
“If he’s there, we’ll see each other for two minutes, that’s all we can, but that will be fine,” he added. Trump stated he and Kim “get along very well”.
A senior North Korean official stated a summit between Trump and Kim within the DMZ would be “meaningful” in advancing relations.
“We see it as a very interesting suggestion, but we have not received an official proposal in this regard,” Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs stated in an announcement, North Korea’s KCNA state media reported.
“I am of the view that if the DPRK-U.S. summit meetings take place on the division line, as is intended by President Trump, it would serve as another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations,” Choe stated.
She was referring to North Korea by its official identify – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
U.S. particular envoy Stephen Biegun stated on Friday the United States was prepared to maintain constructive talks with North Korea to comply with by means of on a denuclearization settlement reached by the 2 international locations final yr, South Korea’s overseas ministry stated.
Biegun instructed his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, that Washington needed to make “simultaneous, parallel” progress on the settlement reached at a summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore in June final yr, the ministry stated in an announcement.
Both sides had agreed to set up new relations and work in the direction of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
But negotiations have stalled since their second summit in Vietnam in February collapsed as the 2 sides failed to slender variations between U.S. requires denuclearization and North Korean calls for for sanctions reduction.
South Korea’s presidential workplace stated nothing was confirmed with regards to a Trump, Kim assembly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a gathering on the sidelines of the G20 summit that Kim had instructed him in April safety ensures have been key, and that corresponding measures have been wanted to notice denuclearization, South Korea’s presidential workplace stated.
Meeting Trump in Osaka, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated he hopes the United States and North Korea can present flexibility, resume talks as quickly as doable, and discover a means to resolve one another’s issues, China’s Foreign Ministry stated.
Trump needed to go to the DMZ, on the border between North and South Korea, on a 2017 go to to South Korea however dangerous climate scuppered the plan.
He stated earlier than departing for the G20 summit that he didn’t count on to meet Kim on this journey.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated this week current alternate of letters between Trump and Kim boosted hopes for a restart of talks, calling it a “very real possibility”.
Trump instructed reporters on Saturday Kim had despatched him a birthday card and Trump despatched him a letter in return.
North Korea’s official KCNA information company stated Trump’s letter had “excellent content” and Kim would “seriously contemplate” it, with out elaborating.
Trump has beforehand stated publicly he had obtained a really heat “beautiful letter” from Kim. He has not divulged its contents, however the White House official, who didn’t need to be recognized, described the letter as “very flowery”.
“President Trump made his pitch for a short summit with Chairman Kim on Twitter as White House officials most likely have tried – and failed – to set up such a meeting through official diplomatic or South Korean channels,”
Harry J. Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest stated a brief summit might set the scene for progress later.
“While no major agreements will be signed, both sides can reaffirm their commitment to dialogue and diplomacy, essentially resetting the table for a future deal in the weeks and months to come,” Kazianis stated.
Others have been extra skeptical.
“The fundamental problem – no working-level meetings and no basic change in at least the US negotiating position – means that any meeting right now is just pointless theater,” Vipin Narang, affiliate professor of political science at MIT, stated on Twitter.
Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Joyce Lee; further reporting by Ben Blanchard, David Brunnstrom and Michelle Nichols; Writing by Eric Beech and Makini Brice; Editing by Sandra Maler, Robert Birsel and Himani Sarkar