Trump and Kim Jong Un Set a Date to Meet

Glen Norman
May 9, 2018

Kim Jong Un was handed a USB with a blueprint for transforming North Korea's economy by his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit.

Will the USA pull troops from South Korea?

In the wake of Pyongyang's vow to cease its nuclear activities, North Korea and Japan have begun to show signs of reconciliation, however, the North's rhetoric has sharpened recently, since Tokyo has advocated stepping up worldwide pressure on Pyongyang.

"We'll be announcing it soon", Trump told reporters. However, Pyongyang will hold on to its nuclear arsenal to be able to respond to any nuclear threat or provocation, according to the state KCNA news agency.

While Trump has reportedly expressed a desire to meet in the demilitarised zone between North and South - a highly symbolic area used for last month's inter-Korea Summit - the two sides have settled on Singapore as neutral territory, unnamed sources told the Chosun newspaper, as reported by South China Morning Post.

In the article, an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson said the Trump administration "is deliberately provoking the DPRK" at the time when peace and reconciliation are being promoted in the wake of the inter-Korean summit. To make matters more suspenseful, Trump did not disclose any details of the location or when the meeting will take place.

While substantially more bellicose, the Urimininzokkiri op-ed was not the only state-media article published recently which criticized the notion that the USA maximum pressure campaign has led to North Korea's recent diplomatic overtures, with multiple outlets publishing content on the subject over the weekend.

The historic summit between Kim and Moon on April 27 produced first-ever photos of leaders from North and South Korea holding hands, smiling and crossing back and forth over the border that separates the two countries that technically have been at war since 1950.

"This act can not be construed otherwise than a risky attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one", North Korea said. "It's all agreed to", the president said. "Now I'm trying to calm it down a little bit", he said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said if North Korea were to free the three Americans ahead of the summit "we certainly would see this as a sign of good will".

Trump hinted at their impending release last week, tweeting, "Stay tuned!" Vice President Mike Pence is at right.

He said the USB, which contained a plan for tens of billions worth of economic development in North Korea including railways and energy, sent the message to Kim: "We're serious about working with you for what we think is your real ambition - to be a wealthy East Asian country".

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