Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

North's media say Kim vows nuclear-free Korea amid standoff

North's media say Kim vows nuclear-free Korea amid standoff

Moon, who brokered the historic summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore, said he had "high hopes" for his next meeting with the North's leader to achieve a similar feat.

Kim's show of faith came during a meeting with South Korean envoys in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

National security adviser Chung Eui-youg (left) and other South Korean officials walk with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

Kim emphasised that his "trust in Trump remains unchanged" despite the difficulties, Chung said, and expressed his intention to work closely with the U.S. to achieve denuclearisation "in the first official term of President Trump".

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you to Chairman Kim".

"But the work of convincing Chairman Kim to make the strategic shift which we talked about, for a brighter future for the people of North Korea, continues", Pompeo added.

Trump called off a planned visit to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month, citing insufficient progress in denuclearization.

Still, the South Korean envoy quoted the North Korean leader as saying he hoped to completely denuclearize and end the hostile relationship between his country and the USA before Trump's first term ends in January 2021.

Stephen Biegun, newly-appointed U.S. envoy for the North, said last month Kim had promised "final, fully verified denuclearisation" at the Singapore summit.

Now, the South Korean envoy has a message for Trump from Kim, who apparently described the steps his country has made toward denuclearization as "very significant and meaningful", Yonhap reported.

According to the South Koreans, despite the hard negotiations Kim never spoke ill of President Trump and said he still wants to end his country's hostile relationship with the the end of Mr. Trump's first term.

A separate account by North Korean state media said Kim told the delegation that he wanted progress on denuclearization, without mentioning the USA or Trump.

The North Korean leader also pledged to "achieve the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula in the first official term of President Trump", Mr Chung said.

The cynical view of Kim's surprisingly upbeat comments to South Korean officials is that Kim is still making demands - he wants that Korean War peace treaty to boost his worldwide prestige and make it harder for the global community to maintain harsh sanctions against him-while offering little more than promises and flattery. The two leaders will discuss measures on denuclearization, establishing peace and detailed steps to ease military tensions, Chung said.

After the summit, Trump declared that the North is "no longer a nuclear threat".

Chung, the South Korean envoy, said Kim Jong Un stressed the need for a peace declaration, and said that such a step wouldn't require the withdrawal of US troops. Moon had to postpone inauguration of a South Korean liaison office in the North after Pompeo's trip was canceled.

The Korean War ended with an armistice agreement, which technically leaves the peninsula at war.

While an end-of-war declaration wouldn't imply a legally binding peace treaty, experts say it could create political momentum that would make it easier for North Korea to steer the discussions toward a peace regime, diplomatic recognition, economic benefits and security concessions.

During his meeting with Kim, Chung delivered a message from Trump and will relay comments from Kim to U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters.

"A liason office between the North and South will also be established", he said. Post-summit nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang were rocky and quickly settled into a stalemate.

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