Kim Jong Un Complains of US ‘Hegemonism’ as Summit Nears

US, North Korea to hold second day of nuclear talks


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un complained of “US hegemonism” to Russia’s visiting foreign minister on Thursday, as one of his top lieutenant­s was in New York trying to pave the way for a summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore next month, The Associated Press reported.

Kim told Sergey Lavrov that he hopes to boost cooperatio­n with Russia, which has remained largely on the sidelines in recent months as Kim has made a major diplomatic outreach to the United States as well as to South Korea and China.

“As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of US hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward,” AP quoted Kim as telling Lavrov.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and visiting high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in a bidto settle nuclear disagreeme­nts set up a historic summit between their leaders, as they held a second day of meetings on Thursday in New York, Reuters reported.

Despite Kim’s recent toning down of his rhetoric against Washington and Seoul, after previously made harsher comments and threats of nuclear attacks, continuing difference­s between the two countries led Trump to abruptly cancel the planned summit last week, and then quickly announce that it might still be held as scheduled on June 12.

Trump said he was expecting the delegation from Pyongyang to travel to Washington on Friday to deliver a letter to him from leader Kim Jong Un.

“I look forward to seeing what’s in the letter,” Reuters quoted Trump as saying as he left Joint Base Andrews for a trip to Houston. Asked if a deal was taking shape, he said: “I think it will be very positive ... The meetings have been very positive.”

“I want it to be meaningful,” he added. “It doesn’t mean it gets all done at one meeting. Maybe you have to have a second or a third. And maybe we’ll have none.”

On its part, Russia has kept a surprising­ly low profile as Kim emerged onto the world stage this year, meeting twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. This is despite having a border with North Korea and relatively cordial relations that President Vladimir Putin has seemed to want to develop further,.

Lavrov’s visit to Pyongyang suggests that Russia wants to become involved and make sure North Korea informs it of its intentions and is mindful of Moscow’s concerns.

In their talks, Lavrov relayed Putin’s “warmest regards and best wishes” for Kim’s “big endeavours” on the Korean Peninsula. He also expressed Moscow’s support for an agreement Kim reached with Moon at a summit last month that focused on measures to ease hostilitie­s and increase exchanges between the two Koreas.

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