South Korea Says Kim Jong Un Ready To Speed Up Denuclearization, But He Needs Trump To Make A Promise
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on his third day of his trip with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would move forward with a second meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kim said he would be inclined to take faster steps to denuclearization if the two leaders could meet again, but only if the U.S. could guarantee the safety of Kim’s regime, Bloomberg reported.
The North Korean leader would like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Pyongyang to set up another summit with Trump “as soon as possible,” a message Moon said he would pass along to U.S. leadership, according to a summary by the Pyongyang Press Corps.
Kim’s comments came on the third day of meetings between Korean leaders, one in which Moon also addressed North Koreans directly to an audience of nearly 150,000 people, NPR reported.
“Here, at this place today, I propose we move forward toward the big picture of peace in which the past 70-year-long hostility can be eradicated and we can become one again,” Moon said.
Kim’s remarks ring similar to those he made Wednesday on the second day of meetings in Tokyo, in which he made a notable promise to dismantle a missile engine-test facility.
He also said he’d allow “external inspectors” to watch over the dismantling to ensure it is disabled. (RELATED: North Korea Will Move Toward Denuclearization If US Reciprocates)
Kim said he would move forward with such measures only if the U.S. took “corresponding steps” based on pledges Trump made in their June summit.
One concession Kim asked for was that the U.S. declare a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War, which was halted with an armistice.
Pompeo said on Wednesday that he would restart talks with North Korea after these comments, with a goal of complete denuclearization by 2021.
“The relationship between Chairman Kim and President Trump is good. I talk to my counterparts there with some frequency. It doesn’t get reported,” Pompeo said Wednesday in an interview with Laura Ingraham.
“I’m glad about that; I’m glad we’re able to keep that quiet.”
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