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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24, 2018 (News Wires) - US President Donald Trump said Monday he expected to meet again soon with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he saw "tremendous progress" in easing tensions.

"It looks like we'll have a second summit quite soon," Trump told reporters at the United Nations.

"As you know Kim Jong Un wrote a letter -- a beautiful letter -- asking for a second meeting and we will be doing that," added Trump, who met with Kim in Singapore in June.

He said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- whose last planned visit to Pyongyang was abruptly scuttled by the White House -- would arrange the summit "in the immediate future."

Trump's remarks come one year after he stunned the United Nations General Assembly with a blistering attack on North Korea in his speech, threatening to "totally destroy" the communist state and mocking the projectile-building Kim as "rocket man."

But Trump has since billed his diplomacy with North Korea as a key diplomatic success, saying that risks of a conflict have receded.

"Tremendous progress on North Korea," Trump told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

"That was a very dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time."

 

 

SEOUL, Sept 22, 2018 (MENA) - United States President Donald Trump has said he will not be hasty in making any deals with North Korea, stressing "very good" relations with the communist country's leader, Yonhap reported.

In his speech in Missouri at a campaign rally on Friday (US time), Trump said, "Chairman Kim Jong-un sent me a beautiful letter two days ago," though he did not elaborate on details.

Pointing to the release of Americans who had been detained in the North and the return of remains of American soldiers who went missing during the 1950-53 Korean War, Trump said the relationship between the US and North Korea is "going very well," and "Let's see what happens ... I am in no rush."

Both Washington and Pyongyang have floated the possibility of a second meeting between their leaders to move forward negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The historic first meeting was held in Singapore in June.

After holding a third summit with Kim this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to fly to the US on Sunday for a meeting with Trump.

SEOUL, Sept 15, 2018 (MENA) - A US top nuclear envoy visited South Korea on Saturday, days before the leaders of the two Koreas are set to hold a summit meeting next week, Yonhap news agency reported.

Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul, following his trips to Beijing and Tokyo where he met with his counterparts. He is to meet key officials in South Korea during his two-day stay here.

This marks his second trip to Seoul in less than a week.

Biegun earlier said that a "tremendous opportunity" has been created by summit meetings among the leaders of the two Koreas and the US, and emphasized that it is necessary to "do everything we can to make the most of this moment of opportunity."

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, September 11, 2018 (News Wires) - The US military has identified the first two American troops from 55 boxes of human remains from the 1950-53 Korean War that North Korea handed over in July, the agency leading the analysis said on Monday.

The identities are expected to be officially announced in the coming days after the troops' relatives are informed.

"We will notify the family first," said John Byrd, director of scientific analysis at the US Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency, as he stood among the remains undergoing review in Hawaii.

President Donald Trump's administration has hailed the handover of the remains as evidence of the success of his summit with North Koran leader Kim Jong Un in June. The White House said on Monday it was looking at scheduling a second meeting.

Critics, however, say the summit has so far failed to deliver on promised steps to get Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons programme.

The identifications will chip away at the 7,699 US troops who the US military says remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. About 5,300 were lost in what is now North Korea.

Forensic anthropologists are combing through the remains at a secure facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Byrd and Jennie Jin, who leads the agency's Korean War Project, explained the painstaking identification process which includes methods for finding DNA in bone fragments.

Sampling for DNA analysis has been carried out so far on about half of the boxes of remains, they said. Some bone fragments are as small as a quarter. Other bones have decayed so much that they are little longer than a pencil.

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept 7, 2018 (News Wires) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Friday that he is pushing for "irrevocable progress" in efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons by the end of this year as he prepares for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Earlier this week, Moon sent special envoys to Pyongyang to help resolve the nuclear stalemate. After returning home, the envoys said Thursday that Kim still has faith in US President Donald Trump and reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, although he expressed frustration over skepticism about his sincerity.

Trump later responded by tweeting, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!" Moon said the outcome of his envoys' Pyongyang trip was "much more than what was expected."

The next step in nuclear diplomacy is uncertain. Negotiators seem deadlocked over whether North Korea truly intends to denuclearize as it has pledged numerous times in recent months. North Korea has dismantled its nuclear and rocket engine testing sites, but US officials want more serious, concrete action taken before North Korea obtains outside concessions.

Kim told the South Korean envoys that he is willing to take stronger steps if his "goodwill" measures are met in kind, according to chief envoy Chung Eui-yong. Kim has repeatedly said he wants a step-by-step disarmament process in which each of his actions is reciprocated with corresponding outside concessions.

North Korea, which says its nuclear program is aimed at countering US military threats, has demanded the United States jointly declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which was halted by an armistice, not a peace treaty.

SEOUL, September 6, 2018 (News Wires) - North Korea's Kim Jong Un has given his first time line to achieve denuclearisation, aiming for the end of US President Donald Trump's first term, and has agreed to a third summit with his South Korean counterpart, Seoul officials said on Thursday.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang on September 18-20 and discuss "practical measures" towards denuclearisation, Moon's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said a day after meeting Kim.

The summit could provide renewed momentum to talks over denuclearisation between North Korea and the United States, after Trump canceled a visit to Pyongyang by his secretary of state last month citing lack of progress.

Kim told South Korean officials his faith in Trump was "unchanged" and that he wanted denuclearisation and an end to hostile relations with the United States before Trump's first term in office ends in early 2021, Chung said.

"He particularly emphasised that he has never said anything negative about President Trump," Chung said.

The remarks represent Kim's first timeline for dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

In previous, failed talks, North Korea has said it could consider giving up its nuclear programme if the United States provided security guarantees by removing troops from South Korea and withdrawing its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from the South and Japan.

US officials involved in the latest negotiations have said North Korea has refused to even start discussions about defining "denuclearisation" or other key terms such as "verifiable" and "irreversible", and has insisted the United States must first agree to simultaneous steps to reduce economic pressure.

Chung said Kim had stressed the need for the United States to reciprocate North Korea's initial moves, which have included dismantling a nuclear test site and a missile engine facility.

The US embassy in Seoul said it had no information to share on the matter.

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