US,NKorea to Hold 2nd Summit in Feb. 01/19 11:24

US,NKorea to Hold 2nd Summit in Feb.   01/19 11:24

   President Donald Trump said Saturday that "things are going very well with 
North Korea" and he plans a second summit with leader Kim Jong Un to try to 
broker a deal that would entice the North to give up its nuclear weapons.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump said Saturday that "things are 
going very well with North Korea" and he plans a second summit with leader Kim 
Jong Un to try to broker a deal that would entice the North to give up its 
nuclear weapons.

   "We've agreed to meet sometime probably the end of February. We've picked a 
country, but we'll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very 
forward to it and so am I," the president told reporters Saturday at the White 
House.

   The initial news of a second meeting with the reclusive North Korean leader 
came after Trump's 90-minute session Friday in the Oval Office with a North 
Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, who traveled to Washington to discuss 
denuclearization talks.

   "We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and 
we're talking about a lot of different things," Trump said, adding it's "not 
been reported, unfortunately, but it will be. Things are going very with North 
Korea."

   In May, North Korea released three American detainees and sent them home 
with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his meeting with the North Korean 
leader in Pyongyang.

   The second summit signals stepped-up efforts by both countries to continue 
talks. Trump has exchanged letters with the North Korean leader amid little 
tangible progress on the vague denuclearization agreement reached at their 
first meeting last June in Singapore.

   U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said "it's high time" for serious 
negotiations between the United States and North Korea to outline a road map 
for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The U.N. chief said New York 
on Friday that would allow both sides "to know exactly what the next steps will 
be, and to have predictability in the way negotiations take place."

   Trump has spoken several times of having a second summit early this year. 
Vietnam has been considered as a possible summit venue, along with Thailand, 
Hawaii and Singapore.

   Since the Singapore talks, several private analysts have published reports 
detailing continuing North Korean development of nuclear and missile 
technology. A planned meeting between Pompeo and the envoy, who is North 
Korea's former spy chief, in New York last November was abruptly canceled. U.S. 
officials said at the time that North Korea had called off the session.

   The special U.S. envoy for North Korea negotiations, Steve Biegun, planned 
to travel to Sweden for further talks over the weekend.

   The talks have stalled over North Korea's refusal to provide a detailed 
accounting of its nuclear and missile facilities that would be used by 
inspectors to verify any deal to dismantle them. The North also has demanded 
that the U.S. end harsh economic penalties and provide security guarantees 
before it takes any steps beyond its initial suspension of nuclear and missile 
tests.

   Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for National Interest, 
said any talks between the two nations are a positive development, but the hard 
work of negotiating an agreement has only begun.

   As a possible first step, Kazianis said, North Korea could agree to close 
its nuclear centrifuge facility at Yongbyon in exchange for some relief from 
U.S. sanctions or a peace declaration ending the Korean War. The three-year war 
between North and South Korea ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace 
treaty.

   South Korea said it expects the second summit between Trump and Kim to be "a 
turning point in firmly establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula."

   Kim expressed frustration in an annual New Year's address over the lack of 
progress in negotiations. But on a visit to Beijing last week, he said North 
Korea would pursue a second summit "to achieve results that will be welcomed by 
the international community," according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

   Kim's latest trip to China, his fourth since last year, came as the North's 
strongest ally has encouraged negotiations with the U.S. while at the same time 
arguing in favor of an immediate easing of sanctions.

   The U.S. and North Korea seemed close to war at points during 2017. The 
North staged a series of weapons tests that brought it closer to its nuclear 
goal of one day being able to target anywhere on the U.S. mainland. The two 
sides then turned to insulting each other: Trump called Kim "Little Rocket Man" 
and North Korea said Trump was a "dotard."


(KA)

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