Friday 22 June 2018

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un briefs party leaders on US talks

Kim gave a ‘profound analysis and appraisal’ about future dialogue, the official news agency said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets party officials in Pyongyang (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets party officials in Pyongyang (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

By Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has briefed top ruling party officials on his vision for the future direction of dialogue with the US and his upcoming summit with South Korea’s president, the North’s official media reported.

Kim gave a “profound analysis and appraisal” of the prospects for North Korea-US dialogue at a meeting of the Politburo of the ruling party’s Central Committee, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The report did not specifically mention plans for Kim to hold a summit with President Donald Trump, expected in May or June, but it suggested Pyongyang is actively preparing for the meeting and is ready to let North Koreans know big events may be ahead.

The North’s official media has thus far made virtually no mention of the diplomatic gestures Kim has made towards Seoul and Washington since January, though it did report Kim’s visit to Beijing last month to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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Donald Trump is expected to meet Kim Jong Un in May or June (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

That was the first time Kim has left the North since assuming power in 2011 and was also his first meeting with another head of state.

North Korea’s parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, is scheduled to convene on Wednesday. The assembly generally convenes once a year to approve the national budget and other policy and personnel issues that have already been decided on by Kim and the party leadership.

According to the KCNA report, the party leaders have approved a budget for this year that will be presented to the parliament.

It said Kim outlined in detail his analysis on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and mentioned the North-South summit, which will be held on April 27.

He then discussed the “prospect of the DPRK-US dialogue and set forth the strategic and tactical issues” to be maintained by the party.

Though the report did not explicitly mention plans for the summit with Mr Trump, it was the most concrete suggestion to date that Pyongyang is preparing for what would be the first ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president.

Mr Trump said on Monday their meeting might be in late May or in June. The location has yet to be announced.

The main issue at the summit will be North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Speaking at the White House on Monday, Mr Trump expressed hope that a deal to get Pyongyang to denuclearise might be made.

Administration officials say the North has communicated that Kim is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons programme.

Press Association

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