North and South Korean Leaders Meet a Second Time
On Saturday, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in met on the North Korean side of the DMZ – their discussion focused on getting Washington to reschedule a Kim/Trump summit.
On Friday at the St. Petersburg (Russia) International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan said “(b)oth US president and the North Korean remarks have left some leeway. I believe one of the keys to the peace and stability of the peninsula is the US-DPRK relations, and a summit between them is essential,” adding:
“The situation on the Korean peninsula is closely linked to the interests of China. (Xi Jinping) does not want war on the Korean peninsula and this is China’s bottom line.”
Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the summit’s cancellation, saying Kim Jong-un “did everything he previously promised. He even blew up the tunnels and mines at the (Punggye-ri nuclear) test site. (A)fter that, we learned of the cancellation of the meeting by the US.”
A previous article suggested Kim/Trump summit talks may be back on, Trump tweeting perhaps holding them on June 12 as previously scheduled or on later date.
Officials of both countries will meet in Singapore, discussing issues on the agenda and logistics.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Mattis said “diplomats are still at work on the summit, possibility of a summit, so that is very good news,” adding what’s been going on is the “usual give and take.”
Kim/Moon’s meeting on Saturday for the second time since late April surprised most observers, Moon’s spokesman saying:
“The two leaders exchanged their opinions candidly to implement the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration and to have a successful North Korea-US summit…Moon will announce the result of today’s meeting Sunday morning local time.
At their late April summit, both leaders took an important step toward formally ending the Korean War and normalizing bilateral relations.
At the same time, Kim made no public statements on abandoning his nation’s nuclear program, its most important deterrent against feared US aggression.
Following Kim/Moon talks on Saturday, Trump said the North Korea/US summit may be held in “the coming weeks.”
Separately on Saturday, Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said a “White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place.”
Barring disagreements or other snags, all signs suggest summit talks will be announced back on – maybe in days or sooner.
What’s possible to step back from brinksmanship on the Korean peninsula is another matter entirely.
Washington wants a nuclear disarmed vassal state on China’s border. It wants the DPRK vulnerable to US aggression, its main deterrent eliminated – offering nothing in return but empty promises if Kim/Trump talks take place.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”