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Monday, April 23, 2018

North Korea makes an unexpected concession to the US

Por Rory

North Korea expressed its desire to achieve a "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula and does not seek conditions such as the prior withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, said the president of the latter country, Moon Jae-in, Reuters reports. The United States has around 28,000 military personnel deployed in South Korea, which has always provoked irritation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

However, after the diplomatic thaw, Kim is willing, according to the South Korean president, to renounce the withdrawal of US troops as a precondition for discussions on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Moon said that reaching general agreements on denuclearization, the establishment of a peace regime and the normalization of relations between the two Koreas and the United States should not be difficult to achieve through summits between North and South Korea and between Pyongyang and Washington. "I do not think denuclearization has different meanings for South Korea and North Korea," Moon said during a luncheon with heads of Korean media companies. "North Korea is expressing a will to complete denuclearization." "They have not attached any condition that the United States cannot accept, such as the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea," the South Korean leader added. "The only thing they are talking about is the end of the hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security."

Pyongyang has defended its nuclear and missile programs, which it is pursuing despite resolutions of the UN Security Council, as a deterrent against the perception of hostility from the United States. Washington has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. South Korea announced that it is considering how to change an armistice of decades ago with North Korea in a peace agreement as it prepares for the summit between the two Koreas this month. The reclusive North Korea and the rich and democratic South Korea are technically at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, visited North Korea last week and met leader Kim Jong Un with whom he established a "good relationship," US President Donald Trump said before a summit scheduled for May or June.

Trump said he hoped the summit would be successful, but warned he could cancel it if he did not believe it would produce results. In a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said his "maximum pressure" campaign on North Korea will continue until Pyongyang renounces its nuclear weapons. "The United States remains committed to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea," US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said at a press conference in Geneva before a two-week conference on the Treaty of No Nuclear Proliferation. "In terms of the lobbying campaign, the things we are very interested in are maintaining the pressure that is, enforcing sanctions, ensuring that the North does not have access to funds that help promote its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, "added Wood.