Monday, 25 June, 2018

Kim Jong Un complains of USA 'hegemonism' as summit nears

Sergei Lavrov GETTYSergei Lavrov is set to visit North Korea following an invitation from Ri Yong-ho
| 02 June, 2018, 04:30

An official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said nothing has yet been decided when asked if President Moon planned to visit Singapore for a three-way summit with US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who are expected to hold a bilateral summit there on June 12.

North Korean official Kim Yong Chol to deliver personal letter from Kim Jong Un to President Trump at the White House as summit preparations gain momentum; Kevin Corke reports.

"I'd like to see it done in one meeting", Trump told Reuters.

In his remarks following the meeting, Trump stressed that the June 12 summit is the start of a "process".

But he has had two summit meetings in recent weeks with South Korea and made two visits to China as part of a campaign of diplomatic outreach aimed at easing Pyongyang's isolation and USA -led global sanctions.

But his comments Thursday come at a sensitive moment, when a senior North Korean official was in NY for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the planned summit.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Kim's right-hand man, General Kim Yong Chol, in NY late on May 30 to discuss the matter. "It is ultimately going to be a successful process", Trump said immediately after Kim Yong Chol left the White House.

"The big deal with be on June 12".

But analysts say North Korea will be unwilling to cede its nuclear deterrent unless it is given security guarantees that the United States will not try to topple the regime.

In 2016, he took charge of the United Front Department, the civilian intelligence agency which supposedly operates pro-North Korean groups in South Korea and handles inter-Korean affairs. But a meeting never came to be - and no sitting president has met with a North Korean leader since.


In Pyongyang, Kim said his will to see denuclearisation on the peninsula remained "unchanged, consistent and fixed" and hoped improved North Korea-US relations would be solved on a "stage-by-stage" basis.

Upon arrival in NY, the former spy chief was escorted out of the airport by U.S. State Department officials, according to a North Korean official who spoke to reporters waiting for his arrival.

Spymaster, military general, envoy and apparatchik, the 72-year-old had become the most senior North Korean official to set foot at the White House in two decades. Can you believe that we're talking about the ending of the Korean what you talking about 70 years here.

Trump's made-for-television announcement on Friday was the latest twist in the trans-Pacific political and diplomatic drama that at times unfolded in real time, and has been closely-followed on social media. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong-un.

Trump had withdrawn from the summit on May 24 with a strongly worded letter of his own, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang but also urged Kim to call him.

Kim Yong Chol was the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000.

Though he's accused of the Sony pictures 2014 hack and was sanctioned by the US, Kim Yong Chol was feted at the White House.

"Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in NY tonight", Pompeo tweeted Wednesday.

Lavrov met Kim in Pyongyang, Russia's Foreign Ministry tweeted, and extended an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin for the North Korean leader to visit Russia. "That I can tell you".

Kim Yong Chol is a close aide of Kim Jong Un and is vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee.

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