US Looks Forward to 'Very Good' Summit with N. Korea

US Looks Forward to 'Very Good' Summit with N. Korea

Biegun and Kim "discussed advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim's Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming USA -D.P.R.K. relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula", it said.

Relations between the two Koreas made strides past year, with President Moon Jae-in holding summit talks three times with the North's leader and agreeing on a series of economic and other cooperation projects. "He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him and fully understand how capable he is", he wrote in his post. But North Korea is demanding the establishment of a liaison office, a declaration ending the Korean War and easing of USA sanctions.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

But for liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is eager to push ahead with ambitious plans for engagement with North Korea, a breakthrough in Vietnam is crucial.

Just weeks ahead of the planned summit to follow on from an unprecedented first meeting between the leaders in Singapore last June, the two sides have appeared far from narrowing differences over USA demands for North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States.

On his return to South Korea, Mr Biegun briefed the country's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

It seems, out of two potential venues - Hanoi and Da Nang - the two sides narrowed it down to Hanoi.

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Biegun landed at Osan US Air Base on Friday evening, foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said.

"There is no change in our position that Japan will continue to cooperate with the United States and South Korea, while closely collaborating with the worldwide community, including China and Russian Federation, to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions" imposed on the North for its nuclear and missile programs, the top government spokesman said. But Washington has insisted that North Korea needs to first take more concrete steps toward denuclearization.

"I am confident that if both sides stay committed, we can make real progress", he told reporters.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats has made public his assessment that North Korea is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons because it views them as critical to regime survival.

The Koreas remain technically at war as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The first summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore last June generated significant coverage and optimism, but delivered very few concrete developments. Abe is called on to deepen cooperation with Washington to ensure that the upcoming Trump-Kim summit leads to improving the security environment for Japan.

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