See More on Facebook

Analysis, Diplomacy

North Korea roundup

The on-again, off-again summit breaths new life, here is a roundup of reactions and related stories.


Written by

Updated: May 28, 2018

The US-North Korean summit was all but dead and finished after Trump sent an open letter to Kim Jong-un on Thursday calling off the talks. Commentators, however, noted the conciliatory tone of the letter and said a small chance existed that talks could be revisited at a later stage.

It is doubtful that anyone anticipated that the summit would be revived this fast.

A major catalyst to the resurrection of the talks was the meeting between  Kim and  South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the weekend.

After their meeting, Moon said that Kim had reaffirmed his willingness to denuclearize and hold a summit with US President Donald Trump.

“Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-US summit,” Moon said of his latest summit with the North Korean leader held Saturday.

“We two leaders agreed the June 12 North Korea-US summit must be successfully held,” he told a nationally televised press conference

“Following up from the Panmunjeom Declaration, Chairman Kim again stated his will for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Moon added.

It seems that during the summit, the two leaders also discussed the possibility of a permanent peace treaty to replace the armistice signed after the end of the Second World War.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a South Korea government official told reporters that the two Koreas agree on the importance of such issues in relation to the US-North Korea summit and they are being discussed at the working level.

“Working-level discussions on issues such as again promising mutual nonaggression (between Pyongyang and Washington), and opening negotiations to replace the armistice with a peace treaty or a declaration of the end of war among South, North and the US are underway,” the official said.

High Level US Visit 

Following the Kim-Moon talks, a senior US State Department official travelled to the North to discuss the planned Trump-Kim summit.

The State Department’s top Korea expert, former US Ambassador Sung Kim, is meeting with North Korean officials to prepare for an unprecedented summit between Pyongyang and Washington expected to take place in Singapore on June 12, according to the US government.

His team, also involving Allison Hooker, a White House official on Korea, is visiting the North, reportedly focusing on discussing summit agenda items, especially denuclearization.

Meanwhile, other Trump aides, including Joe Hagin, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, are travelling to Singapore for consultations with North Koreans largely on security measures and logistics related to the Singapore summit originally slated for June 12 and later cancelled.

Reactions and Comments 

US President Donald Trump said Sunday that he believes North Korea will be a great economic nation one day, setting a positive tone ahead of his potential meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The US president has increasingly offered economic rewards in exchange for denuclearization, although the exact terms of any deal are unclear.

However, Pyongyang says it does not expect any economic aid from the United States. The ruling Workers’ Party’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun commented that Fox News TV, CBS and CNN were “as impudent as to make rubbish that if the DPRK meets the requirements of the US, it can get ‘large-scale non-governmental economic aid.'”

“US media is still building up public opinion that the DPRK comes to the negotiating table with the US in a hope to get ‘economic aid,'” the report said using the initial of the North’s full name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “We can not but make the fact clear. It is the US that asked for DPRK-US talks first,” the North claimed.

“As far as the ‘economic aid’ … is concerned, the DPRK has never expected it.”

China, meanwhile, expressed its support for a planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, stressing that direct dialogue between the leaders is the key to solving the nuclear standoff.

“We think a person-to-person encounter and dialogue between the leaders of North Korea and the US is the key to solving problems,” Lu Kang, spokesman at the Chinese foreign ministry, said in a written response to Yonhap News Agency’s questions.

“We hope both the North and the US show patience and good faith to focus on resolving concerns and carry out the process to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula,” the spokesman noted.

Lingering Doubts 

Not all have been convinced by this positive turn of events.

The Japanese paper (and ANN partner) Yomiuri Shimbun expressed in an editorial that, “North Korea’s denuclearization can never be expected if Pyongyang’s provocative remarks and broken promises are quietly condoned.”

“It is worrying that there is a strong impression that Trump made decisions without due deliberations on both occasions — when he accepted in March a North Korean offer to hold a summit with Kim and when he called off the summit recently. It is obvious that it will take a certain amount of time to dissolve long years of distrust between Washington and Pyongyang,” the editorial writes.

Meanwhile, Victor Cha, former Asia director on the White House National Security Council, tamped down expectations that a June 12 meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could lead to a breakthrough in the nuclear conundrum.

“In terms of the substance, the key issue is, are they going to give up their nuclear weapons? And I think, unfortunately, the answer is no,” he said in an interview with NBC. “I mean, 56 years ago the North Koreans started landscaping the area where they built this nuclear program. And on Dec. 12 of last year, they said we’ve accomplished what we wanted. So three months later they’re all of a sudden going to give it all up? It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Diplomacy

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e


By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri


By Dawn
October 17, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

Lam was forced to deliver speech via video after protests. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures aimed at easing a housing shortage on Wednesday (Oct 16) as she battles to restore confidence in her administration and address widespread discontent after four months of mostly violent anti-government protests. Mrs Lam was forced to deliver her speech via video after her annual policy address in the Legislative Council was aborted when some lawmakers repeatedly jeered and shouted at her as she began speaking. After aborting her speech in the chamber tw


By The Straits Times
October 17, 2019

Analysis, Diplomacy

Singapore’s 4G leadership lays out plans to take relationship with China ‘to a higher level’

The two countries share a close relationship. Singapore’s fourth-generation leadership has a comprehensive plan for engaging with China economically and plugging into the East Asian giant’s rapid development. Ten members of the “4G” cohort drove home this point as they spoke with Singapore media at the end of a bilateral meeting in Chongqing on Tuesday (Oct 15) that was of particular significance, as the Singapore team was composed fully of this new generation of political leaders. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat led the Singapore delegation as he co-chaired the 15th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the highest-level bilateral platform between Singapore and China. Mr Heng, who took over the reins from former DPM Teo Chee Hean earlier this year, said his first meeting in the new role was forward-looking and productive, and that he took the opportunity to “


By The Straits Times
October 16, 2019