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Trump hails 'productive' meeting between US, North Korean diplomats

11 February, 2019, 12:32 | Author: Taylor George
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Can the second Trump-Kim summit end the Korean War?

A few days before the meeting announcement, a confidential United Nations report revealed that the North Korean nuclear and missile program remains intact.

President Trump tweeted that North Korea could become an economic "rocket".

And last week, intelligence officials warned that they believed North Korea was "unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capability".

Trump said Wednesday that he will hold a summit with Kim in Vietnam on February 27-28.

Stephen Biegun, the USA special representative for North Korea, held three days of talks in Pyongyang to prepare for the summit, the State Department said on Friday.

North Korea has said it will demolish all facilities at the nuclear site Yongbyon if Washington withdraws troops from South Korea and/or makes a formal treaty to end the Korean War - prompting some analysts to say the ball is in Washington's court to make sure North Korea will progress in its denuclearization effort.

The State Department confirmed Biegun agreed to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol again before the summit.

Trump continued to tweet increasingly freaky predictions. The President also highlighted the recent release of an American detained in North Korea.

Both sides said they were committed to denuclearisation but gave no details of how this would be carried out or verified. The margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.

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In their first summit previous year, Trump and Kim reached a vague denuclearization agreement.

Trump had told the Congress that the two countries would have been in a "major war" if he had not been elected president. The first North Korean leader to visit Vietnam was Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-Sung in 1958.

He reportedly said the aim of the meeting in Pyongyang was to "sound out" the other side's position, rather than resolve key points.

"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse", Trump wrote Friday. Kim pledged then to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, without providing a clear timetable or roadmap.

The deal will officially go into effect after it receives parliamentary approval in South Korea, which is expected to take place in April, according to Yonhap news agency.

Speaking before meeting with the South Korean Foreign Minister kang Kyung-wha on Saturday, Biegun said his talks in Pyongyang had been productive, but more dialogue was needed ahead of the summit. Trump will be hoping that China-Vietnam relations may open the eyes of Kim who if adequately supported may well do a Vietnam on China.

The confidential report, a copy of which was seen by news agencies, also said North Korea was routinely breaking worldwide sanctions.

Officials have said that there must first be tangible progress in denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and the North so that Washington can ease sanctions and allow inter-Korean cooperation projects to move forward.

There has been speculation the meeting would be in Da Nang.

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