Korea, Japan discuss Korean denuclearisation

Lester Mason
March 20, 2018

North Korea hasn't yet confirmed the summit with the U.S.

The North has been silent on Mr Trump's acceptance of what would be the first summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea.

South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui Yong met US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Japan's National Security Adviser Shotaro Yachi on Saturday and Sunday to discuss future meetings between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In, as well as between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump, the Blue House said in a statement.

She told American TV network CBS's Face The Nation that "he's given his word" and it's "the first time that the words came directly" from the North's leader. Kim, through Chung, conveyed intent to refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests and a commitment to denuclearization. "Furthermore, they shared the understanding that in a situation in which the South-North and North Korea-U.S. summits are to be held consecutively in April and May, their success is very important for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as Northeast Asia, and they discussed in depth how to closely cooperate between South Korea and the United States to this end".

Although South Korea continues to reiterate the North Korean leader's stated commitment to denuclearization, United States officials and experts are skeptical about North Korea's recent breakthrough move, saying the North sees the weapons as its sole guarantee of survival.

Nothing has been offered to the North Koreans to engage in negotiations, she said.

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and his American counterpart Steven Mnuchin were also scheduled to meet on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss the matter. "We give them the benefit of the doubt, and the time that he would need to come out with some public messaging".

North Korea is pursuing its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

Alexander Vershbow, who served as the US ambassador to Seoul during the George W. Bush administration, warned that if the US-North Korea summit "fails", then it could possibly trigger even higher military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, in a recent interview with Voice of America.

On Sunday, a report issued by the North Korea Resource Institute showed there's potential to launch development projects on 74 mines located in the North, creating 91,310 new jobs including 18,500 for South Koreans.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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