Trump, South Korea leader mull next steps in nuclear talks

Trump, South Korea leader mull next steps in nuclear talks

Choe, born in 1950, was one of the most powerful officials in North Korea as head of the Workers' Party of Korea Organization and Guidance Department, and had been director of cultural exchange programs and vice chairman at the Kim Il Sung Youth League in the 1980s, leading youth delegations on goodwill visits to China, Russia, Japan, Libya and Greece, according to database North Korea Leadership Watch.

North Korea also replaced the premier of its Cabinet, Mr Pak Pong Ju, an official at the centre of efforts to jumpstart the economy.

The two shared the need for maintaining dialogue with North Korea to peacefully resolve its nuclear issue and Moon expressed hope to hold a fourth inter-Korean summit with Kim.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has retained his most important leadership post as his rubber-stamp parliament made a slew of personnel changes that bolstered his diplomatic lineup amid stalemated nuclear talks with the United States.

Choe Ryong Hae was named President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, state media reported on Friday, replacing Kim Yong Nam who had held the position since it was created in 1998.


Instead Wednesday's meeting could involve a reshuffle of party officials including Kim Yong Chol, the North's top envoy for talks with the U.S., who has been "blamed the most for the failure of the Hanoi summit", he said.

Washington and Pyongyang have been at an impasse since Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Việt Nam in February collapsed without a deal.

When asked if a three-way summit with Kim and Moon is also possible, Trump said "that could happen also".

"We want sanctions to remain in place", Trump said at the White House.

Kim earlier this week insisted Pyongyang would overcome the effect of sanctions by developing the socialist economy, telling party officials to push ahead with "self-reliance", KCNA said.


North Korea has replaced its long-serving head of state with a close aide to leader Kim Jong Un, promoting a man who was placed on a U.S. sanctions list previous year for alleged human rights abuses, state media said Friday. "From time to time, there are particular provisions, if we are making substantial progress, where one might think it's the right thing to do".

Kim Yong Nam, who held the position for nearly 20 years, was replaced by Choe Ryong Hae, who will take over the role of representing Pyongyang at worldwide engagements, KCNA said. "He's saying North Korea would take an independent course unless the U.S. offered to lift sanctions".

The Moon administration is also keen to relink road and rail connections to and through North Korea - a move that would reconnect South Korea to the Eurasian landmass.

The province is known within North Korea, however, for having a spirit of overcoming hardship, which may fit with Kim Jong Un's message of persevering under sanctions, Hong said.


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