By Alex Jensen
North Korean leader wants a "successful" summit with the U.S. president next month, but Kim Jong-un is yet to be convinced he can actually trust Washington to hold up any potential agreement, South Korean president said Sunday.
Moon Jae-in made the remarks at a briefing following surprise border talks with Kim a day earlier, their second meeting in a month but only the fourth ever inter-Korean summit since 2000.
"Chairman Kim Jong-un once again clearly affirmed that his commitment to complete denuclearization remains firm yesterday.
“What remains uncertain to Chairman Kim Jong-un is whether he can trust the U.S. promise to end their hostile relationship and guarantee North Korea's security once the North denuclearizes," Moon said in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency.
The Korean leaders already agreed to pursue peace and denuclearization during their breakthrough April 27 summit, which had come within months of intense aggressive rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.
But the planned Trump-Kim talks on June 12 in Singapore almost fell apart last week when the North's regime returned to threats of war, apparently due to a disagreement with the U.S. over the latter's insistence on Pyongyang's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
A further conciliatory statement from the North Friday led Trump to reverse his public cancellation of the scheduled Singapore summit just a day earlier.
Yet Moon warned that North Korea and the U.S. must still find some common ground.
"I believe whether the June 12 North Korea-U.S. summit will be disrupted or succeed depends on how successfully [the North and the U.S.] complete their working-level negotiations," Moon was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang's official media outlets were filled Sunday with coverage of the latest inter-Korean talks, seemingly demonstrating the North's desire to drum up local enthusiasm.
North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency reported that Kim "expressed his fixed will" on what would be an unprecedented meeting between a leader of his country and an American president.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.