Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

In complete reversal, Trump revives summit with North Korea

In complete reversal, Trump revives summit with North Korea

The US President also spoke of his hope for the peace process with North Korea, announcing that his planned summit with Kim Jong-un on 12 June was back on. "But I see over a period of time", Trump said. Trump has not yet revealed what was written in the letter, but he sure seemed happy to get it.

Trump said the letter from Kim, hand-delivered by Kim Yong Chol, was "very nice" and "very interesting" - but then said he had not opened it yet. It's probably none of those things, or at least, not entirely.

Analysts say the gesture of sending the letter itself is part of the meticulous steps North Korea is taking to present Kim as a legitimate worldwide statesman who is reasonable and capable of negotiating solutions and making deals. "So the idea is helpful in easing North Koreans' jitters and encouraging them to do more on denuclearization".

Trump even backed away from the words "maximum pressure" that his administration had used to describe its approach to North Korea, combining the toughest-ever United States and global economic sanctions with diplomatic actions and the Republican president's military threats and preparations.

For if Trump does not secure a firm commitment from North Korea on denuclearization that is credible and verifiable before the summit, either in the form of a joint communique to be issued during the meeting or in some format before, Trump needs to do the unthinkable - again: Cancel the meeting once more or even walk out.

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US President Donald Trump last week confirmed his participation in an unprecedented summit in Singapore on June 12 with Kim, an extraordinary development that followed a year of escalating rhetoric and threats between Washington and Pyongyang. "But I see over a period of time", Trump told reporters. On Thursday, Kim also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who invited the young leader to Moscow.

The North Korean leader's flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months has included two trips to China for meetings with President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party leadership. "But I don't think President Moon and Trump should wait on declaring an end to the Korean War until President Xi Jinping flies to Singapore", Cho said. This sets Kim apart from his father and grandfather who were never bold proponents of letter diplomacy and mostly limited the exchange of letters and telegrams with traditional ally Beijing and, to a lesser extent, Moscow.

Chol gave President Trump written by Kim Jong-un. As for the size of Kim Jong Un's letter?

Kim has invested heavily in North Korea's nuclear weapons development program while starving the country financially and demanding luxury accommodations from foreign nations, including South Korea which covered $2.6 million in travel expenses for him during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

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