World

Russian Federation enters diplomatic dance with North Korea over nuclear weapons

Russian Federation enters diplomatic dance with North Korea over nuclear weapons

Trump sent a letter last week to Kim Jong Un, calling off the June 12 summit.

The adversaries are eying the first summit between the USA and the North after six decades of hostility.

A hotel employee hails a cab at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.

Kim Yong Chol, a top aide to the North Korean leader, is a major player in the North Korean government and considered a tough negotiator.

"You can end the war and the armistice and move towards a peace treaty".

North Korea abruptly put off this inter-Korean discussion of high officials which was originally scheduled to take place May 16.

Gen Kim Yong-chol is expected to deliver a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Mr Trump. With just two weeks left before that date, a later date may also have to be considered. To do so, they said they would seek to hold three-way talks among the two Koreas and the United States, or four-way talks involving China.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

Kim Yong Chol is the vice chairman of the powerful Central Committee and North Korea's former spy chief. Because he has been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department twice, he was given a sanctions waiver to make this trip, The Guardian reported.

"We will discuss ways to implement expediently and smoothly agreements reached by the two leaders", the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told journalists before the talks.

After trading threats of war past year, the two men agreed to meet for an historic summit on June 12.




Despite the upbeat messaging in the United States, Kim Jong-un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about the US trying to spread its influence in the region, a comment that may complicate the summit plans.

"We are looking for something historic", a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters in NY about a Kim-Trump summit after the dinner meeting, "something that has never done before". That was the last time the two sides, which are technically at war, attempted to arrange a leadership summit.

Pyongyang have denied any involvement in both incidents.

But China could pose a challenge, he added.

"What we have to convince them", the State Department official said, that "their nuclear program has made them less secure, that there's a better path forward, that we can work with them".

Simultaneously, Kim met Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and, according to official news agency KCNA, said the North's "will for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula still remains unchanged and consistent and fixed".

"We can agree to in principle to have security on the peninsula".

Other analysts were more cautious about the possibility of the three-way summit, raising questions over whether the USA would agree to it.

In a letter addressed to Mr Kim, Mr Trump cited Pyongyang's "tremendous anger and open hostility" in public statements as his reason for cancelling the meeting. "Doing so will likely be a political burden for Trump". We will see what happens.

"Also, Trump wants to be at the center of the spotlight".

"I think we are looking for something historic".