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The topic of North Korea at the Summit between Leaders of South Korea and the US

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On April 11, in Washington, a summit between South Korea and the US was held. The two countries’ leaders, Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump, discussed a wide range of issues, concentrating on resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem. In a press release, summarizing results of the summit, both sides confirmed their quest for establishing peace and achieving full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The leaders noted the importance of continuing close coordination and cooperation on matters pertaining to North Korea, and discussed the “enduring strength” of the South Korea-US alliance, “which remains the backbone of peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the region.”

During the negotiations, the two sides gave high marks to the improvements that were added to the revised free trade agreement between South Korea and the US. On that note, Trump noted the investments of South Korean companies in the American manufacturing industry, including the automobile sector, in support of US jobs and exports.

Prior to the summit, the media of Russia, South Korea, among others, spread the message that “it’s hard today to speak about the possibility of a third North Korea – US summit, and continuation of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington,” and this shows “the necessity of Seoul’s participation in the dialogue as a mediator.”

If Trump spoke about a “great deal,” which involved concessions in exchange for full denuclearization, then Moon used such terms as “good enough deal,” and “early harvest.” They anticipate gradual encouragement of the North while extending to them concrete measures for denuclearization: for example, relaxation of sanctions in exchange for closing down the Yongbyon reactor. It is to be understood that in case of an incident, the former........

© New Eastern Outlook