Moon, Trump both open to another summit with NK

Moon, Trump both open to another summit with NK

South Korean President Moon Jae-in intends to set up and hold a new summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un as soon as possible, trying to get both the process process and nuclear diplomacy back on track.

Trump, in his first meeting with Moon since the unsuccessful US summit with Kim in Hanoi, said the USA wants to keep economic sanctions in place to pressure Kim to denuclearize. Talks between Trump and Kim in Hanoi fell apart after the U.S. president rejected Pyongyang's offer to fully denuclearize once sanctions were lifted.

He is a second-generation revolutionary and personally knew the late Kim Jong Il, Mr Kim Jong Un's father, for over 50 years, North Korea Leadership Watch said. The two sides gave different reasons for the abrupt end in talks. But Pyongyang said it asked only for a partial lifting of the sanctions in exchange for dismantling its main nuclear site.

In that position, Choe will be the constitutional head of state, and is likely to be the public face of North Korea at many official functions.

Kim was re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Pyongyang's highest administrative apparatus, during the first session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly, the rubber-stamp parliament, on Thursday, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency. "The big deal is we have to get rid of the nuclear weapons".

Kim was elected to the post first in June 2016, when the commission was created through an amendment to the constitution.

Moon has been acting as a go-between to resolve the nuclear standoff and has worked aggressively to foster better relations between the North and the South and keep nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea moving.

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"I think keeping sanctions in place sets real limits on the trajectory of North-South reconciliation, leaving reopening Kaesong Industrial Zone and Mount Kumgang tourist project off the table for now", said Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim earlier this week insisted Pyongyang would overcome the effect of sanctions by developing the socialist economy, telling party officials to push ahead with "self-reliance", KCNA said.

North Korea has been focusing on economic development since its policy shift, announced last April, from the so-called byongjin policy of simultaneously seeking nuclear and economic development.

Despite not explicitly naming the "hostile forces" that imposed sanctions, Kim is displaying a more hardened stance toward Washington than was recently in state media, analysts said.

Choe was one of the three officials sanctioned by the U.S. in December over allegations of rights abuses.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a congressional committee on Wednesday that he would like to leave "a little room" in the sanctions in case North Korea makes "substantial" progress toward giving up its nuclear weapons.

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