Jan 10, 2019 08:34 UTC
  • Second Trump-Kim summit imminent: South Korea’s Moon

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he thinks a second meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un is “imminent.”

According to Press TV, the South Korean leader made the announcement in a press conference on Thursday, a day after Kim ended his two-day trip to the Chinese capital, Beijing, his fourth in about 10 months.

“Kim Jong-un’s visit to China signaled that the second summit between North Korea and the United States is imminent, I think,” President Moon said.

“Perhaps in the near future, I’m expecting to hear news of high-level talks between North Korea and the United States that will take place for the second summit,” he added.

A meeting is already said to have been planned between US and North Korean officials in Vietnam to discuss the site of the second Trump-Kim summit.

South Korea has acted as a go-between in diplomacy involving the US and North Korea ever since Pyongyang and Seoul started a rapprochement of their own in January 2018.

Multilateral diplomacy led to the first summit between Trump and Kim in July last year, which was held in Singapore. There, Trump and Kim broadly agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

But follow-on diplomacy, at lower levels, has snagged, and a second summit may help remove some of the obstacles.

On Wednesday, the second day of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Kim “raised concern about the deadlock created in the process of improving” Pyongyang-Washington relations and in denuclearization talks, according to North Korean state media.

The US has refused to lift any of the sanctions it has imposed on North Korea over its nuclear program.

Pyongyang has since before the first Trump-Kim summit taken several unilateral measures toward peace and has been complaining about the US’s failure to reciprocate any of those measures, including by offering sanctions relief.

Kim on Wednesday said that he wanted to “achieve results” on the nuclear standoff on the peninsula in his second summit with Trump, stressing that his country would “make efforts for the second summit between DPRK (North Korea) and US leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community.”

But North Korea has also warned that it would take “a new path” if the US fails to cooperate.