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Moon-Trump meeting possible before US-N. Korea summit

26 April 2018

His new national security adviser, John Bolton, has called for a pre-emptive USA strike to destroy North Korea's nuclear capacity, even if it provokes a North Korean counter-attack on South Korea that inflames the entire Korean peninsula.

Jeong, who served as unification minister between 2001 and 2004 during a previous round of peace talks, also told the South China Morning Post that Kim's recent diplomatic overtures were motivated by a desire to aid the North's economic development.

He also expressed his personal prayer to the Korean people who want peace, adding that the Holy See supports every useful and honest initiative to build a better future. It said the two sides agreed that Friday's summit will include a welcoming ceremony and a banquet dinner as well as a formal meeting between Moon and Kim.

Pyongyang/Beijing: In what is being seen as a big setback to North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, it is being reported that the secluded nation's underground nuclear test site has partially collapsed and become unusable.

Seoul said Moon will brief Trump by phone immediately after Friday's summit, and promised "close co-ordination" with the US.

The shock announcement comes after the former hermit state has offered an olive branch to South Korea and the U.S. after more than 50 years of bitter relations.

"If there's a serious agreement, then I think the Trump administration is going to be willing to go to some sort of peace treaty, and the discussion about a reduction in USFK (U.S. forces stationed in South Korea), sequenced with a reduction of both the conventional and nuclear threat from North Korea, and an end to that threat over time". "It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears", he said. Mr Kim's regime is fiercely paranoid about the outside world, long believing only military force - including nuclear - will truly safeguard it from external dangers.

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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Jeong also said topics like the definition of denuclearisation, and what it means in practice, are being thrashed out during the run-up to the summit.

The mango mousse - dubbed "Spring of the People" in a publicity photograph - depicts the small islands known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in Korea - islets whose sovereignty is disputed by Tokyo.

The unprecedented meeting led to a series of reunions of families separated by the Korean war and the establishment in 2004 of a joint factory complex in North Korea's border town of Kaesong.

"But recently they are focusing on their own nuclear weapons".

The moves have raised expectations that the two sides could announce some breakthrough, such as declaring an end to their enduring war.

"We can't imagine any scenario where the North Koreans are even going to contemplate giving their nuclear weapons without a peace treaty and without security guarantees", said Suzanne DiMaggio, director and senior fellow at New America in NY, who facilitated talks in Oslo that led to USA citizen Otto Warmbier's release from North Korea.

Of its six nuclear tests, North Korea has conducted five at the Punggye-ri test site.

"In line with what the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been advocating, I call upon all concerned Governments to uphold human rights as a conflict prevention and peacebuilding mechanism", he said. "Ironically, it gave the North time to refine its nuclear technology".

Moon-Trump meeting possible before US-N. Korea summit