North Korea's Kim Jong Un bolsters nuclear talks hand on China trip

Charlene Craig
June 22, 2018

WASHINGTON DC, USA - North Korea has already begun its denuclearization, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, June 21, after many observers greeted with skepticism the results of his historic meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

The decision became known during Kim's visit to Beijing earlier this week for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, triggering speculation that the two countries are set to resume economic cooperation in earnest.

A command post of Punggye-ri nuclear test ground is blown up during the dismantlement process in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong province, North Korea on May 24.

Trump told reporters after their June 12 summit that Kim had pledged to dismantle one of his missile installations, which would be North Korea's most concrete concession at the landmark meeting in Singapore.

"The momentum for dialogue and easing of situation on the Korean Peninsula has been effectively strengthened", Xi said.

"While North Korea agreed to nothing new, the United States took the unprecedented step to indefinitely suspend our joint military exercises with our ally", said Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee subpanel on Asia and Pacific issues.

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A propaganda poster blaming United States and hostile countries' sanction is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang August 17, 2017. Agreements between the two leaders were being carried out "one-by-one", it said.

China backs the North's call for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearisation, as opposed to Washington's demand for an instant, total and irreversible end to the North's nuclear programmes.

North Korea had previously said it would not agree to family reunions unless Seoul returns several of its citizens, including a group of waitresses who defected from a restaurant in China.

Before leaving Beijing on his latest visit this week, Kim toured an agricultural technology park and a rail traffic control centre.

"In this case, it will be possible to deliver goods from South Korea to Europe, which would be economically beneficial not only to South and North Korea but to Russian Federation as well", he said. Gawking pedestrians watched the passing motorcade that included Kim's limousine - a black Mercedes-Benz Maybach with gold emblems on the rear doors.

"President Putin and I also share the common goal of completely denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and establishing a peace regime", he said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

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China has touted the prospects of more trade and investment if North Korea makes progress in talks on abandoning its nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs.

Kang said a plan of action would emerge in follow-up negotiations between Pompeo and North Korean officials.

The 200 people who will go to the reunion will have just three days to catch up before they return to their respective sides of the border, knowing that they will in all likelihood not see those family members again.

His father Kim Jong-il also visited the academy in January 2006 but seemed unwilling or unable to adopt its innovations or those of any of the other Chinese enterprises he was shown.

Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.

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