Two Koreas to hold summit on April 27

Michele Moreno
April 1, 2018

According to the Associated Press, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will hold private discussions with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 at a border village located in the de-militarized zone between the two nations.

In his talks with Xi, Kim may have discussed economic cooperation or requested a softening of the enforcement of sanctions over the North's nuclear weapons and missiles.

The deal also lifts the threat of a 25 percent US tariff on imports of steel from South Korea in exchange for quotas that will effectively cut USA imports of Korean steel by about 30 percent.

In their latest call, on March 16, while the two countries' trade representatives were holding a third round of trade talks in Washington, Mr Moon asked Mr Trump to have a "keen interest" in the matter and work towards a speedy trade agreement before their respective summit meetings with Mr Kim.

"As the date for the inter-Korean summit is finalized now, we will do our best to be fully prepared for it during the given time", Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said in a text message.

Trump, for his part, suggested Thursday that he may delay a revamped trade deal the US reached with South Korea this week until after the nuclear confrontation with North Korea is resolved.

As part of the revised arrangement, the two countries also agreed to ensure that they do not devalue each other's currencies intentionally.

"I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea", Trump said Thursday during a speech in Richfield, Ohio.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi is spending two days in Seoul briefing South Korean officials on the results of the talks between Kim and Xi. "We believe this meeting will prove helpful in solving the problems surrounding the Korean Peninsula through political discussions and agreements on the peninsula's denuclearization and establishment of peace and security".

The South's JoongAng Daily newspaper said in an editorial Thursday that the meeting "makes the situation more complicated because Xi stepped into the negotiation all of a sudden".

The trade deal changes, which preserve the US-South Korean trading relationship at a critical time for Seoul, do not need Congress' approval, but are subject to a 60-day consultation period with Seoul.

South Korean envoys who met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang this month said he had expressed willingness to negotiate with the United States about normalizing ties and giving up his country's nuclear weapons in return for security guarantees. "Both South Korea and the United States have their own domestic procedures, so we're not at a signing stage because those procedures take time", the official said.

Mr. Trump's maneuvers against South Korea have hardened his image as a leader who is ready to threaten or sideline allies in order to push his agenda'.

The question now is whether the summit can lay the groundwork for a successful Trump-Kim meeting and a return to multi-nation talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The committee posted a pledge on its website March 29 to resolve pending issues on the Korean Peninsula by "eliminating any dependence on outside influences". Following a months-long pause in military drills and despite the thaw in Seoul-Pyongyang ties, South Korea and the USA will resume joint military exercises on April 1.

Other reports by Insurance News

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