The North Korean leader on Wednesday expressed his “frustration” and “difficulties” over the international community’s doubt and “stingy evaluation” of his determination to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, a South Korean chief delegate said on Thursday.
The announcement came a day after the special presidential delegation, led by the head of the presidential National Security Office (NSO) Chung Eui-yong, made a one-day trip to Pyongyang.
Five South Korean special envoys held a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and conveyed a letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The two sides also agreed on the date for the upcoming third summit between Kim and Moon, which Chung said would be held in Pyongyang from September 18 to 20.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un reconfirmed his determination to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and expressed his willingness for close cooperation not only with the South but also with the United States in that regard,” Chung told a news briefing regarding the outcome of the visit to Pyongyang.
In his meeting with the South Korean delegation, Kim emphasized Pyongyang “has preemptively taken measures necessary for denuclearization,” adding he would appreciate the international community accepting such “good-will” gestures by the North as being in “good faith.”
“I’d like to emphasize that chairman Kim Jong Un clearly defined the stance several times that his determination of denuclearization is clear,” Chung said.
“He expressed his frustration over the fact that some parts of the international community cast doubt on his determination.”
The DPRK leader reportedly emphasized that Pyongyang will be unable to conduct a nuclear test “permanently” as two-thirds of the tunnels at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site were “completely collapsed.”
Kim said the dismantlement of the Tongchang-ri missile engine testing site — which he described as country’s “sole test site” — shows Pyongyang’s “intention to completely stop the test-launching of long-range ballistic missiles.”
“[Kim] spoke of difficulties over the international community’s stingy evaluation even though those are very substantive and meaningful measures,” Chung quoted Kim as having said.
The North Korean leader reportedly asked Seoul to deliver his message to Washington, saying he hopes things move in the right direction so that he may receive assurances his judgment to work towards denuclearization is a “correct” one.
Chung will discuss the outcome of the visit and deliver Kim’s message to the U.S. during a phone call with National Security Adviser John Bolton scheduled for 2000 KST Thursday, South Korean presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-keum later announced.
The spokesperson said the South Korean delegation conveyed Trump’s message to Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, as requested by Trump during a phone call with Moon on Tuesday.
“President Trump .. asked President Moon to play the role of chief negotiator representing both North Korea and the U.S. And we delivered the message from Trump to North Korea in that context.”
Speaking at the news conference, Chung said Kim expects more participation from the South in the denuclearization process, and that this included not only delivering such messages to the U.S., but also having substantive bilateral talks on the issue as well.
“If the President (Moon) visits Pyongyang, it is expected they will hold more in-depth discussion on concrete measures for inter-Korean cooperation to achieve progress on denuclearization.”
The South Korean delegation’s visit to Pyongyang came despite a deadlock in nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and the North.
Chung, however, said Kim “made it clear” that his trust in U.S. President Donald Trump has “remained unchanged” despite Washington and Pyongyang’s difficulties in proceeding with their nuclear talks.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un particularly emphasized that he never spoke negatively of President Trump to anyone, including his aides,” he told a press briefing.
“He also expressed his stance that the North and the U.S. can, based on trust, settle their 70-year history of hostility within President Trump’s first term, and that denuclearization can be achieved in tandem with the improvement of the North-U.S. relations.”
Pyongyang reiterated its “intention and determination to take more active measures for denuclearization” if the U.S. complies with the “principle of action-for-action,” Chung said.
“North Korea strongly expressed its will to continue more active measures to achieve denuclearization if corresponding actions are taken in response to a series of preemptive measures by Pyongyang.”
The South Korean chief delegate, however, said there was no specific discussion on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s fourth visit to Pyongyang, which Trump abruptly canceled in August.
Wednesday saw the two Koreas discuss the declaration of an end to the Korean War as agreed in the Panmunjom Declaration, while the DPRK leader reportedly dismissed accusations of using this issue to weaken the U.S.-ROK alliance or spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces stationed in the South.
Chung said Pyongyang agreed with Seoul’s judgment that the declaration of the end to the war would be a “political declaration and the first step to building confidence among the concerned parties.”
He also said Kim expressed the idea that “the withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and weakening of the ROK-U.S. alliance … have nothing to do with the end-of-war declaration.”
With regard to a possible trilateral summit, the ROK chief also ruled out the possibility of holding a meeting between Trump, Kim, and Moon on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September, explaining the right circumstances have not yet been established.
Before meeting with the DPRK leader, the South Korean delegation briefly met Ri Son Gwon, chairman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC), and Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).
Chung said these meetings produced “in-depth and wide-ranging discussions concerning various pending issues on inter-Korean relations” including the third Moon-Kim meeting.
Before the summit, Seoul and Pyongyang also plan to open a joint liaison office with resident representatives of both sides at the now-shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC).
Director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Suh Hoon, Vice-Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung, second deputy director of the NIS Kim Sang-gyun, and Director of the Government situation room at the Blue House Youn Kun-young made up the other four members of the South Korean delegation.
Featured Image: Blue House
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