Japan reports suspected North Korea sanctions breach
Japan reports suspected North Korea sanctions breach
South Korean war hero Choi Deuk-soo knows first-hand what is at stake should US-North Korean peace talks fail
31 May, 2018, 21:06
This series of talks come after several months of unprecedented global engagement by the isolated North, which started with Winter Olympic participation in South Korea and included a letter offering talks to U.S. President Donald Trump. In late April, Australia and Canada sent naval patrol aircraft to the US Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture to begin monitoring North Korea's illicit activities.
Meanwhile, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo held what he characterized as "substantive talks" with a group of Pyongyang's high-ranking officials led by Kim Yong Chol, during which they discussed priorities for potential summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slated for June 12.
In anticipation of the meeting, North Korea earlier this month freed three American prisoners and on May 24 appeared to blow up tunnels and other buildings at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the mountainous northeastern part of the country where the regime has conducted six underground tests since 2006.
Kim was known as a leading student activist in the 1980s who spread North Korea's Juche ideology, but later became an activist promoting democracy and human rights in North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice-Chairman of the ruling DPRK council Kim Yong Chol launched day two of talks in NY following a 90-minute private dinner on Wednesday night that officials have been tight-lipped about. "The people of #NorthKorea can have a brighter future and the world can be more peaceful".
Kim Yong Chol is a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee.
He said the North is very likely to open up and reform, as its leader Kim Jong-un has consistently maintained the policy of protecting and expanding the market over the six years since his inauguration and has basically completed the agricultural reforms. A top North Korean official is in the USA and met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for dinner Wednesday, the highest-level talks between the two countries on American soil in 18 years.
North Korean sources previously told RFA's Korean Service that citizens have been largely unmoved by, if not mistrustful of, state propaganda heralding Kim's diplomatic achievements in the nuclear-armed, sanctions-hit state. I believe they will be coming down to Washington on Friday. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
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A three-way summit was proposed by Moon and Kim when they first met at the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, Yonhap said. Saturday's meeting was only the fourth time - but the second in a month - that leaders from the North and South have met.
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South Korea want more talks with North Korea before summit
Among those in North Korea on behalf of the USA was Sung Kim, the veteran diplomat and current US ambassador to the Philippines. The last time the two sides were scheduled to meet, the North Koreans never materialized and Trump scrapped the summit.