South Korea stops calling North 'main enemy'

South Korea stops calling North 'main enemy'

One of North Korea's top generals Kim Yong Chol is expected to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday to hash out details of a second meeting with Kim, including a potential venue.

A diplomatic source in Washington said the goal of Suh's visit "was to hold discussions with USA intelligence officials". It was flown to Pyongyang and delivered by hand, the CNN reported, quoting a source familiar with the ongoing talks between Washington and Pyongyang on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Hopes for a new round of diplomacy were raised when North Korea's leader said in his New Year's Day address that he was willing to meet with Trump "at any time".

Presumably this meeting will attempt to plan the next summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, a summit that both leaders have publicly embraced, although it's nearly certainly going to be a venue for pursuing the complete, verifiable, and irreversible nuclear disarmament (CVID) that Pompeo insists must take place before sanctions are lifted.

Kim and Trump met for a historic summit in Singapore in June, but have since struggled to make progress towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

The South Korean Defense Ministry also demanded an apology from Japan, saying the patrol aircraft had flown too close to Korea's destroyer and accusing Japan of breaching worldwide customs.

USA officials said at the time that North Korea had canceled the session.

But his trip to Washington is viewed by some as a sign that the sides are getting closer to reaching an agreement regarding a second Trump-Kim Jong Un summit.

Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, a visiting professor at Pusan National University in South Korea and adjunct fellow at the Pacific Forum, said: "China definitely would want to be relevant and ensure the denuclearisation process was not centred on the USA and Republic of Korea".

Mr Kim Yong Chol, who arrived in Washington on Thursday (Jan 17), will be looking to firm up recent clues that the United States position is softening. South Korea has stopped calling North Korea an "enemy" in its biennial defense document published Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 in an apparent effort to continue reconciliation with Pyongyang. "North Korea summit in 2018", the paper said.

A Vietnamese government source who wished to remain anonymous told AFP "logistical preparations" were under way for a Trump-Kim summit although "no official decision" had been made.

Mr Trump himself only mentioned North Korea in passing at the same event, saying negotiations he had conducted should have been done years ago.

Victor Cha, a former White House adviser on Asia under President George W. Bush, suggested that Trump may be so desperate for a policy "win" that he could be vulnerable to a bad deal with North Korea.

He has also resisted U.S. demands for a detailed list of his nuclear assets, with state media last month comparing it to handing over a target list.

The document also assessed that the North has a "considerable amount of highly enriched uranium", an ingredient that gives North Korea a second route to manufacture nuclear weapons along with its stockpile of 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of weaponized plutonium, which civilian experts say is enough for at least eight bombs.

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