White House puts an asterisk on Trump, Kim Jong Un meeting

Mar 10, 2018, 00:37
White House puts an asterisk on Trump, Kim Jong Un meeting

President Donald Trump accepting a reported offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a stunning turn of events after a year of heated verbal warfare that included crude insults and mutual threats of nuclear attacks.

Faced with Pyongyang's race to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the continental United States, Trump's strategy has been to ramp up sanctions, tighten the diplomatic screws and regularly threaten military force.

Consider this the latest piece of evidence that the arrangement of the first summit between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea is another example of Trump shooting first and his staff thinking later.

Moon said the Pyeongchang games set the stage for his own summit with Kim next month at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries.

Of the North Korean publications that Americans can access, most organized into easily readable indexes as the website KCNA Watch, Rodong Sinmun and the Pyongyang Times had the most coverage of the United States on Friday.

"This has compelled the North to the table", said Kinzinger, while urging caution.

Trump was upbeat on the news from Seoul, crediting Washington's "very, very strong" sanctions push, as well as "big help" from China, for the potential diplomatic breakthrough.

"We are going to do something, one way or the other, we are going to do something and not let that situation fester".

While no incumbent USA president has ever set foot in North Korea, Trump might be willing to become the first because it would fit the strong-willed, in-your-face type of leadership he tries to project, Hong said.

Arranging a summit with North Korea marks a particular challenge, because the USA doesn't have formal diplomatic relations with the hermit kingdom.

The Japanese government, however, remained cautious.

"There are positive points in this agreement", the South's conservative Chosun Ilbo daily said in an editorial.

"In addition to the issue of nuclear weapons and missiles, there is the important issue of abductions".

He continued, "We've been saying for some time that we're open to talks".

"The agreement reminds me of the 1938 Munich Agreement", Hong wrote on his Facebook page. "He's inviting him to be treated as an equal to the United States of America - a goal sought by every Kim since North Korea began its nuclear program", Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in nuclear non-proliferation and Asian security, told the Associated Press.

But the North's state media made no mention of the developments, with the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers Party, instead leading on messages of congratulation sent to Kim for the 70th anniversary last month of the founding of the North's military.

"It was a shining victory for us in our struggle to achieve a parity in power with the USA that we have come to develop hydrogen bombs and ICBMs", it said. The fact that both Koreas agreed to hold the summit demonstrated their determination to take matters into their own hands in tackling the nuclear crisis on the peninsula without any outside mediation or intervention.

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