Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 129, 08.03.2018
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PN's Voice No. 129, 08. 03. 2018
Small steps, Road to peace
Moon: N. Korea Trip Marks Big Step toward Peace, but Obstacles Ahead
President Moon Jae-in says South Korean envoys' trip to North Korea marked a big step toward peace and denuclearization, but there are many obstacles to overcome. Referring to the outcome of the delegation's trip, the president said the achievement was made possible by talks between the two Koreas as well as strong support from the U.S.
Moon said that South Korea still faces many obstacles to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish lasting peace, but it would lay the foundation for peace and prosperity through cooperation with the international community and dialogue with North Korea.
Source : KBS News
North Korean leader to visit South for first time
Kim Jong-un will become the first North Korean leader to cross the border and visit the South since the Korean War broke out in 1950, as Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to hold a summit in April on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom. It was also announced that a hotline will be established between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in - and the two leaders will have their first conversation before the summit. The April meeting will be the third summit between the two Koreas. South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun met with Kim’s late father, Kim Jong-il, in June 2000 and October 2007. Both summits took place in Pyongyang.
The North Korean leader’s decision to cross the inter-Korean border is seen as an attempt to promulgate a confident image. When North Korea’s media reported about the special envoys’ visit earlier this week, they said Kim had made an “audacious” decision. It may also be an attempt to differentiate himself from his late father. Although two inter-Korean summits were held in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-il never visited Seoul in return.
The summit in April will take place during Korea-U.S. joint military exercises. The two countries delayed their annual joint exercises until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Seoul and Washington are planning to start the Foal Eagle exercise on April 1 and Key Resolve exercise on April 23. “A summit in April means that inter-Korean relations will keep up their momentum despite the exercises,” said President Moon’s senior advisor.
Source : JoongAng Daily
NK Open to Denuclearization says Seoul
North Korea is willing to discuss relinquishing its nuclear weapons and will freeze its nuclear and missile programmes if it begins direct talks with the US, in a dramatic easing of tensions after a visit by senior South Korean politicians, officials said on Tuesday. “The North side clearly affirmed its commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed,” a South Korean presidential spokesman said.
Donald Trump responded to the news by tweeting: “Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction!” The vice-president, Mike Pence, who attended the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea, issued a more cautious statement: “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve…All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
Source : The Guardian
Moon's Security Adviser to visit U.S. with Message from N. Korea
Chung Eui-yong, President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser, will head to the United States this week, to brief U.S. officials on the outcome of his recent trip to North Korea that he earlier said included an undisclosed message from Pyongyang. The scheduled trip follows Chung's two-day visit to Pyongyang that ended Tuesday, during which he and four other special envoys of Moon held unprecedented talks and a dinner with the North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-un. Moon's envoys included Suh Hoon, head of Seoul's top spy agency, the National Intelligence Service. Suh will be accompanying the security adviser on his U.S. trip, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Their trip to Pyongyang ended with what many experts here have called "exceptional" and unprecedented concessions from North Korea. In a press conference held Tuesday, Chung said the North Korean leader clearly expressed his country's willingness to talk with Washington, while quoting Kim as saying the North is also willing to put the denuclearization issue on the dialogue table with the U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he believes the North was "sincere." From the start, Chung said the main objective of his trip to the North was to persuade the North to talk with the U.S.
Source : BBC News
S. Korea - U.S. Start Negotiations on Military Cost-Sharing
South Korea and the US have kicked off discussions for what will likely be lengthy negotiations on cost-sharing for the upkeep of some 28,500 American troops stationed here, the foreign ministry said Thursday. South Korea has shared U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) upkeep costs since 1991 under the so-called Special Measures Agreement (SMA). The current accord signed in 2014 is set to expire at the end of this year. Seoul's contribution has increased to around 960 billion won ($887.5 million) this year from some 150 billion won in 1991. The U.S. has asked for Seoul to shoulder more. The outcome of the cost-sharing negotiation is subject to parliamentary ratification.
Source : Yonhap News
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