'S. Korea, US in Close Communication Ahead of Summits'

13 April, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • A shopper picks up a pack of U.S. beef at a wholesale store in Seoul

Chung and Bolton are expected to establish a hotline between them ahead of the upcoming summits.

Kono and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha vowed "close communication and cooperation" to disarm the North and build peace on the flashpoint peninsula, Seoul's foreign ministry said after their meeting in Seoul.

However, according to a South Korean Foreign Ministry source, Kang did not take a stance of going along with Japan's call for maximum pressure.

They also reaffirmed close cooperation among them and the USA to maintain maximum pressure on the North to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"What North Korea means by denuclearization is very different than what the United States and what South Korea traditionally has meant by denuclearization", said Reiss, a negotiator of the nuclear deal, the Agreed Framework, reached with the North in 1990s.

Kono conveyed to Moon a message from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and asked that the abductions issue be raised at the summit on April 27th.

South Korea's national security adviser has flown to Washington to meet his newly appointed United States counterpart John Bolton, an official said on Thursday in Seoul, where concerns are growing over the American's hardline stance on the nuclear-armed North. Chung Eui-yong, who personally delivered Kim's summit offer to Trump last month, returned to the USA capital unannounced on Wednesday as the two allies plan their upcoming summits with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Hong said that while some media say "spring (pronounced "bom" in Korean) has come to the South and North", others see it as a literal 'bomb'.

"Bolton does not even mention the possibility of a peace treaty with Pyongyang" which is sought by the South, said Koo Kab-woo, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

Diplomatic sources said Kono is anxious that Japan could be left out of talks on the Korean Peninsula. "The Moon and Kim summit should be getting ready for the denuclearization talks but not actually doing it for themselves". The two sides plan to draw up a blueprint for a "new partnership" to mark the 20th anniversary of the Korea-Japan joint declaration, and convene a director-general meeting soon to strengthen diplomatic relations, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrives at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on Tuesday. Kono also paid a courtesy call to Moon at the Blue House that afternoon.

After his meetings, Kono tried to put a positive spin, telling reporters, "It is a fact that hard issues remain in our ties with South Korea, but that does not mean that those ties can not deepen". His visit follows the Moon government's announcement earlier this year that it will not scrap the 2015 deal about the Japanese military's wartime sexual slavery. Despite facing challenges on historical and territorial issues, Kang emphasized cooperation in economics, culture and people-to-people exchanges.



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