Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 132, 29.03.2018
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Peace Network
PN's Voice No. 132, 29. 03. 2018
Small steps, Road to peace
Two Koreas Set Date for Summit
The two Koreas began high-level talks this morning to discuss preparations for next month's inter-Korean summit. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's chief delegate, told reporters that the delegation will aim to set a date for the summit. He and his team were able to do that with the date set for April 27th.
Cho said the issue of denuclearization was most important issue during the high-level talks in January and subsequent inter-Korean exchanges, and it will continue to be discussed as a key issue.
After setting a date, the two sides also agreed to hold working-level talks next Wednesday to discuss protocol, security and media coverage.
Source : KBS News
Trump and Abe Keen to Meet Kim After Beijing Trip
US President Donald Trump has said he is keen to meet Kim Jong-un after being told the North Korean leader's trip to China "went very well". But Mr Trump said maximum sanctions and pressure on North Korea would continue ahead of proposed talks in May. He added that denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was now a possibility. The comments follow Mr Kim's meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, in his first known foreign trip since taking office in 2011.
Mr Trump's agreement to hold an unprecedented summit with Mr Kim astonished many observers. The announcement, which would make Mr Trump the first sitting US president to meet a North Korean leader, came after months of hostility and a string of North Korean missile tests. News of the major breakthrough in tensions was met with concern in the US, with reports that Mr Trump had made the decision without consulting key figures in his administration. However, Mr Trump later tweeted that a deal with North Korea was "very much in the making".
But despite the progress in recent months, a number of factors could affect the chances of success. While Mr Kim has reportedly told China and South Korea he is willing to abandon nuclear weapons, he has stated that this comes with conditions, China's Xinhua news agency reported. There are also troubling reports from North Korea. Satellite images from last month, published by the New York Times, show what looks like a new nuclear reactor ready to go online. The newspaper claims it could produce 20kg of weapons-grade plutonium each year. Meanwhile, US and South Korean troops are gearing up for annual military drills which the North has historically seen as provocation. They start on Monday.
Source : BBC News
China: NK Committed to Denuclearization
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbour. After two days of speculation, China and North Korea both confirmed that Kim had travelled to Beijing and met Xi during what China called an unofficial visit from Sunday to Wednesday.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the China-North Korea talks and Kim’s decision to travel outside his country were a “positive sign” the U.S.-led pressure campaign to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons has been working. “We’re going to be cautiously optimistic,” she told reporters.
Source : Reuters
Trump Replaces McMaster with Uber-Hawk John Bolton as National Security Adviser
President Donald Trump has replaced US National Security Adviser HR McMaster with Bush-era defence hawk and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton. Mr Trump tweeted to thank Gen McMaster, saying he had done an "outstanding job & will always remain my friend". Mr Bolton, who has backed attacking North Korea and Iran, told Fox News his job would be to ensure the president has "the full range of options". He becomes Mr Trump's third national security chief in 14 months. Mr Bolton's appointment does not require US Senate confirmation. He will take the job on 9 April. Mr Bolton, 69, has been a foreign policy hawk in Republican circles for decades, having served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush. The second Bush appointed him as US envoy to the UN, during which time diplomats privately criticised Mr Bolton's style as abrasive. A strident neo-conservative, Mr Bolton helped build the case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be wrong. He stands by the invasion of Iraq and has advocated in newspaper op-eds using military force against North Korea and Iran.
Source : BBC News
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