N.Korea, U.S. Plan Talks This Weekend to Keep Summit on Track

  • By Lim Min-hyuk, Cho Yi-jun

    May 24, 2018 13:06

    North Korea and the U.S. have agreed to high-level talks this weekend to salvage a summit scheduled for June 12 amid fractious rhetoric from both sides.

    North Korea has become newly assertive and resorted to its usual denunciations of all its enemies, while U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that the summit may not take place.

    The Washington Post reported Wednesday that "top aides prepared to travel to Singapore for a crucial planning meeting this weekend with North Korean officials."

    They are expected to discuss the key agenda points, including a timeline of denuclearization and what North Korea wants in return, as well as security protocol for the unprecedented meeting.

    The North Koreans failed to turn up for a meeting scheduled 10 days ago in Singapore, right after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for a second time and returned newly self-confident.

    "If North Korea cancels the meeting again, then we really don't know what will happen to the summit," said a diplomatic insider in Washington.

    Choe Son-hui

    North Korea again warned Thursday that it will reconsider the planned summit if Washington continues "unlawful and outrageous acts." In a statement carried by the official [North] Korean Central News Agency, vice foreign minister Choe Son-hui said that whether the June 12 summit between Kim and rump will happen as scheduled entirely rests on the decision and behavior of the U.S.

    Meanwhile, Trump on Tuesday described Xi as a "world-class poker player," suggesting he suspects China of having persuaded Kim to up the ante.

    Prior to his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Tuesday, Trump told the press, "There was a difference when Kim Jong-un left China the second time. There was a different attitude after that meeting and I was a little surprised. And I think things changed after that meeting so I can't say that I am happy about it."

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