Lead­ers hold sur­prise sum­mit

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Obituaries/News -

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in met for the sec­ond time in a month on Sat­ur­day, hold­ing a sur­prise sum­mit at a bor­der truce vil­lage to dis­cuss Kim’s po­ten­tial meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, Moon’s of­fice said.

Kim and Moon met hours af­ter South Korea ex­pressed re­lief over re­vived talks for a sum­mit be­tween Trump and Kim fol­low­ing a whirl­wind 24 hours that saw Trump can­cel the highly an­tic­i­pated meet­ing be­fore say­ing it’s po­ten­tially back on.

The quickly ar­ranged meet­ing seemed to demon­strate Kim’s ur­gency to se­cure a sum­mit with Trump, which may pro­vide his best shot at saving his econ­omy from crush­ing sanc­tions and win se­cu­rity as­sur­ances in a re­gion sur­rounded by en­e­mies, an­a­lysts say.

It re­mains un­clear whether Kim would ever agree to fully aban­don his nuclear ar­se­nal in re­turn. Moon has in­sisted Kim can be per­suaded to aban­don his nuclear fa­cil­i­ties, ma­te­ri­als and bombs in a ver­i­fi­able and ir­re­versible way in ex­change for cred­i­ble se­cu­rity and eco­nomic guar­an­tees.

Moon, who bro­kered the sum­mit be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Py­ongyang, likely used Sat­ur­day’s meet­ing to con­firm Kim’s will­ing­ness to en­ter nuclear ne­go­ti­a­tions with Trump and clar­ify what steps Kim has in mind in the process of de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, said Hong Min, a se­nior an­a­lyst at Seoul’s Korea In­sti­tute for Na­tional Uni­fi­ca­tion.

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