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Home / World / Trump says 'long way' to go on North Korea crisis

Trump says 'long way' to go on North Korea crisis



WASHINGTON / SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. Pat. President Donald Trump said the North Korean nuclear crisis is on the verge of becoming a reality.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Pat. President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. April 17, 2018. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque / File Photo

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile testing and scrapping its nuclear test site, and instead pursuing economic growth and peace ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

"We are on a long way from North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they will not ago! "Trump said on Twitter.

Trump, who in an early tweet said: "Wow, we have not given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearize great for World), site closure, & no more testing! "

However, Kim's announcement did not include a commitment to scrap existing nuclear weapons and missiles, and there are doubts he said developing for decades.

Moon Jae-in wants to be under intense international scrutiny when he meets North's Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday.

"North Korea has made a long history of raising the issue of denuclearization and is committed to freezing its nuclear weapons programs in the past. "We all remember how those pledges and commitments went down past decades," said Nam Sung-wook, a professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University in Seoul.

"North Korean leader Kim Jong un speaks during the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 20, 201

8. KCNA / via Reuters

Kim said North Korea is no longer needed to test nuclear bombs or intercontinental ballistic missiles now that his country had the weapons, and he would

Moon, who welcomed Kim's announcement as a "major" step toward denuclearization, is making the summit his sole focus this week, staying in the Blue House to prepare with no outside engagements, a Blue House official said on Sunday.

South Korea's presidential security service with the military as well as the U.N. Command on Saturday to discuss security at the border village of Panmunjom, where the inter-Korean summit will take place, the official said.

For the past few weeks, South Korea has been renovating Peace House, on its side of Panmunjom, to prepare for the summit with Kim, who wants to be the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

On Monday, the two Koreas will hold another round of working-level talks at the Tongil Pavilion on the North Korean side of Panmunjom to discuss protocol, security and media coverage of the summit.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in a news report about North Korea's announcement, in Tokyo, Japan, April 21, 2018. REUTERS / Toru Hanai

'BIG PROGRESS'

Moon now has a direct link with Kim on his office desk, instead of having a hotline at the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, which had been the main channel between the two sides of the Winter Olympics in February.

The two leaders are expected to talk over the phone for the first time this week, before the summit, South Korea said on Friday.

A senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Susan Thornton, called North Korea's latest announcement, "a very positive step," as she starts a three-day visit to Seoul on Sunday, which will include meetings with South Korea's foreign minister as well as its top nuclear negotiator.

"We are going to be doing a lot of close coordination with South Korea, allies and partners this week," the Yonhap news agency quoted her as saying.

Earlier, South Korea's Trump called North Korea's offer to freeze testing and "big progress" while South Korea said it was "meaningful" progress that would make good conditions for successful summits with it and later with the United States.

Kim is expected to meet Trump in late May or early June, the first meeting between sitting leaders of the two countries.

U.S. officials say North Korea has been reneged on the learning agreement, the latest in 2012 when the North launched a long-range rocket after agreeing to a moratorium on missile testing.

Cheong Seong-chang, senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute think-tank, said a firm commitment to denuclearize could not be expected before the United States began.

"Kim can not give up everything at once. What is clear is that he is showing his willingness to pave the way for smooth negotiations, "Cheong said.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Heekyong Yang in Seoul; Additional reporting by Haejin Choi in Seoul; Editing by Stephen Coates and Lisa Shumaker


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