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S. Korean presidential office is stuck in the middle

Posted June. 01, 2018 08:06,   

Updated June. 01, 2018 08:06

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“It’s an awkward situation for us, we cannot prepare for the North Korea-U.S. summit to be held in Singapore, but at the same time, we can’t just sit on our hands,” an official at the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae described the situation as of Thursday. There is an increasing chance that the North Korea-U.S. summit might be held in Singapore on June 12, but it is still unclear whether a three-way summit, which Cheong Wa Dae hopes for, will be take place.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in hopes that North Korea and the United States will reach an agreement on the guarantee of the safety of North Korea’s regime and sit down for three-way talks, followed by the declaration of a permanent ceasefire. He also hopes to remove North Korea’s suspicions on what compensation will be made in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons and accelerate the denuclearization process. However, Cheong Wa Dae cannot act at a time where agenda between North Korea and the United States has not been determined.

Some point out that even if the bilateral talks between Kim and Trump take place; it would take some time for a three-way summit to happen. A diplomatic source said that it was also likely that a ceasefire might be announced in the three-way summit after North Korea takes certain measures, following an agreement with the United States. For the time being, it looks as if President Moon’s visit to Singapore would be determined only after the negotiations between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol.


Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com