Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Chinese leader calls for 'smooth' Kim-Trump talks

Chinese leader calls for 'smooth' Kim-Trump talks

For so long, the U.S. has sent aircraft carriers and jet fighters in the seas close to the Korean peninsula and stationed some 20,000 American troops in South Korea. Dealing with the North Korea issue is one reason he decided Monday to cut short the trip by a day and return home. "So, he would use this to extract payoffs", McMaster continued, "as the regime has done with their nuclear program in the past, and to drive the States and our allies away from this peninsula that he would then try to dominate."For those duly skeptical of the efficacy and wisdom of preventive war - not least because of the incredible human suffering it would necessarily entail-the truth of McMaster's argument is not almost so "clear" as he claims.As retired Col. Andrew Bacevich, a military historian, has argued that, Kim is indeed "engaged in a huge game of blackmail", but not as McMaster describes".

The deal has apparently been brokered by South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and Seoul's lead envoy, National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong, who met with Xi in Beijing for 35 minutes in an apparent bid to assuage his worries.

"We look forward to the smooth [talks between the two Koreas] and dialogue between North Korea and the U.S.", Xi was quoted as saying. "Also, the stocks of South Korean parts suppliers to Apple Inc. rose ahead of the release of a new iPhone in the latter half".

Officials in Seoul say Pyongyang is keeping them in the dark as well.

"In Korea, I'm sticking with Jeju Island".

A summit between two nations that have remained in a state of war since the Korean War would be a remarkable turnabout after a year of heightened tensions.

As a child, Kim and his siblings attended an elite private school in Switzerland in the 1990s, according to former classmates there.

Here we go again - a typical Morning Call front-page analysis ("N. Korea can already claim win") from the Los Angeles Times.

News of possible talks has been a dramatic turnaround from fears of war over North Korea's development of nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States.

"As long as all sides can focus on the fundamental goals of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability, a day of the melting of the hard ice and the blossom of the spring flowers will be seen on the Korean Peninsula", he said.

Sweden's prime minister told reporters on Saturday that the country stands ready to help "in any way".

In Geneva, the United Nations investigator on North Korea told the world body's Human Rights Council that any progress in the nuclear and security dialogue must be accompanied by talks on human rights violations, including political prison camps.

A summit in Asia would be closer to home for the notoriously reclusive Kim, and cities including Beijing, Singapore, Hanoi, or even Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia have been raised as possibilities.

South Korean factory owners have been hoping the thaw in inter-Korean relations would allow them to visit the complex to see what remains of the equipment and stocks they left behind when North Korea seized the factories, but an invitation from Pyongyang has not been forthcoming.

The Asan Institute's Go Myong-Hyun said, "If North Korea can have nuclear weapons for the next 20 years in the process of nuclear disarmament, then North Korea becomes a de facto nuclear state".

Its lack of pizzazz, however, may not provide the backdrop Trump is seeking for his riskiest diplomatic gambit.

"Sunny" will also be made into Japanese and American versions.

However, Albright's trip in particular was criticised for appearing as an endorsement of a brutal and oppressive regime. But there is no reason to think that time is now, and much reason to assume that Trump, as usual, doesn't know what he is doing.

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