Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Seoul Calls for Three-Way Talks after Trump-Kim Collapse

Seoul Calls for Three-Way Talks  after Trump-Kim Collapse

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has proposed semiofficial three-way talks with the United States and North Korea as it struggles to put nuclear diplomacy back on track after the collapse of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The proposal for the talks came during a National Security Council meeting on Monday led by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who said it was Seoul’s “outmost priority” to prevent nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea from derailing.
At the meeting in Seoul’s presidential palace, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the proposed talks, which could include civilian experts from the U.S. and South Korea, would help settle differences over how much sanctions relief Washington should provide North Korea in exchange for nuclear disarmament steps.
Last week’s meeting between Trump and Kim in Vietnam broke down over what the Americans said were North Korea’s excessive demands for sanctions relief in exchange for a limited offer to shut down its aging main nuclear complex in Yongbyon. North Korea reportedly has other sites producing weapons-grade uranium hidden around the country.
Kang said the core issue is determining what disarmament steps North Korea could be persuaded to take in exchange for sanctions relief.
Moon lobbied hard for the revival of nuclear diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea following elevated tensions in 2017 over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests and Trump’s threats to bring “fire and fury” on the North. Some experts say the breakdown of the Trump-Kim talks in Vietnam raised further doubts about Moon’s claim that Kim is genuinely interested in dealing away his nuclear weapons and about Moon’s role as mediator.
“We hope that both countries will continue their dialogue and that their leaders meet again quickly to reach an agreement that was held off this time,” Moon said at Monday’s meeting, which was also attended by the prime minister, spy chief and ministers of defense and inter-Korean affairs. (AP)