PN's Voice 131
Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 131, 22.03.2018
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PN's Voice No. 131, 22. 03. 2018
Small steps, Road to peace
Seoul Proposes a Three-Way Summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned the possibility of a three-way summit for the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States Wednesday during a meeting with his aides at the Blue House, Moon stressed that the summit will have to “completely end” the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Moon is expected to meet with Kim Jong-un in late April for his first summit with the North Korean leader, the third of its kind between the two Koreas since 2000 and 2007. Kim is then supposed to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump for what would be a historic summit between the two countries. The timing hasn’t been decided.
While presiding over a meeting of a committee preparing for the inter-Korean summit, Moon said that a trilateral summit could be held after the two planned summits, “depending on their progress.” Moon has not gotten consent from Trump or Kim for that idea, a senior Blue House official told reporters later. He will raise the idea with them from here on, he added. Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom quoted Moon as saying that the mission to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula can’t be fulfilled “just by an agreement between South and North Korea,” and that the United States would have to “guarantee” that. The Blue House spokesman said Seoul has decided to suggest to Pyongyang that they meet for a high-level meeting next Thursday to hammer out the agenda for the Moon-Kim summit.
Source : JoongAng Daily
N.K. to Hold Key Parliamentary Meeting April 11
North Korea plans to convene a major parliamentary meeting on April 11, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday, without disclosing agenda details. The Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) is the country's legislative body; the highest organ of state power under the North's constitution.
Every April, the SPA holds a plenary session, attended by hundreds of deputies, to finalize the country's budget spending and overhaul Cabinet organs. However, this assembly meeting comes ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's planned summit with President Moon Jae-in in late April and his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump that is expected to take place by May.
Source : Yonhap News
Joint South Korea-US military exercises to begin on April 1
On March 20th, South Korean and American military authorities officially announced that the joint military exercises, that had been delayed because of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will begin on April 1st. In an apparent attempt to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula following the recent decision to hold inter-Korean and North Korea-US summits the drills will last for just over one month on a reduced timeline; the original duration was pencilled in for 2 months. The scale of troops will however be similar to previous years; an official said: “From the US, there will be 11,500 troops participating in Foal Eagle and 12,200 troops participating in Key Resolve. That’s a similar scale to previous years.”
Officials also explained that the South Korean military was taking the lead in planning the exercises, running the opposition force and debriefing this year, just as it did last year, in order to improve its joint operational capabilities.
Source : The Hankyoreh
North Korea: “Sanctions Didn’t Push Us into U.S. Talks”
North Korean state media has said it was "self-confidence" and not sanctions that drove it to seek talks with South Korea and the US. The report went on to criticise "small-minded" critics who questioned North Korea's motives. The US had in February imposed a fresh set of sanctions on North Korea, its largest ever, in what Mr Trump called a "maximum pressure campaign. This had led many, including Trump himself, to declare North Korea’s invitation to meet with the US as a sign sanction were working.
The KCNA editorial did not make any direct reference to a possible summit, but said its "peace-loving proposal" had caused a "sign of change" in Pyongyang's relationship with the US. It appears to be the first time it has mentioned a shift in North Korean policy towards the US since reports of a possible summit emerged. "The dialogue peace offensive of the DPRK is an expression of self-confidence as it has acquired everything it desires," said the commentary, released on Tuesday. It said it was "rubbish" to say it came to talks as a "result of sanctions and pressure", saying that was an "expression of small-mindedness... for riff-raffs to spoil the atmosphere".
Source : BBC News
South Koreans Express Optimism for the Inter-Korean Summit Next Month
Seven out of ten South Koreans believe an inter-Korean summit scheduled for late April will contribute to advancing inter-Korean relations and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. The National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), an organization advising the South Korean President, commissioned a survey by the polling organization Research and Research between Mar. 15 and 18 investigating opinions on unification among 1,000 adult male and female South Koreans for the first quarter of 2018.
The results showed 70.1% of respondents agreeing that the inter-Korean summit would “contribute to the advancement of inter-Korean relations and establishment of peace on the peninsula.” Only 25.2% said they did not expect it to make such a contribution. When asked what [should be] the agenda for the summit, 50.3% of respondents named “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” while 36.8% said “easing of military tensions,” 33.4% said “establishing a peace regime on the peninsula,” and 32.2% said “resolving humanitarian issues such as reunions among divided family members.” 62.2% of respondents were optimistic about the prospects for inter-Korean relations, predicting they would “improve.” Relatively few predicted relations would remain “unchanged” (27.2%) or “worsen” (6.4%). Just over half of respondents – 50.1% – said they viewed North Korea as a “partner to cooperate with and support,” while nearly eight in ten – 79% – said that reunification was “necessary.”
Source : The Hankyoreh
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