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Trump, Kim agree on denuclearization, but deal seen symbolic

June 12,2018 16:19

The world will see a major change.” However, several political analysts said the summit had yielded symbolic, rather than tangible, results. “It is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearization,” said Anthony Ruggiero ...


The deal between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was met by world leaders with optimism and praise for the prospect of denuclearization — but also with a note of caution.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed the Singapore summit as “historic,” saying there may be “many difficulties ahead, but we will never go back to the past again,” the UK’s Guardian reported.
Moon said Kim will be “remembered as a leader who made a historic moment by taking the first bold step toward the world.”
He added: “Building upon the agreement reached today, we will take a new path going forward. Leaving dark days of war and conflict behind, we will write a new chapter of peace and cooperation.”
At a train station in Seoul, people cheered and applauded as TV screens broadcast the Trump-Kim handshake live.
“I really, really hope for a good outcome,” said Yoon Ji, a professor at Sungshin University in Seoul. “I am hoping for denuclearization and a peace agreement and also for North Korea’s economy to open up.”
But some questioned whether Kim would fully relinquish the weapons he may consider his only guarantee of survival.
“I am still not sure whether the North is willing to denuclearize or not,” said Jo Han-won. “We never knew much about the North Korean regime and it’s hard to distinguish what’s true and what’s false.”
Meanwhile, China praised the political resolve of the American and North Korean leaders — and said it may be time to discuss lifting sanctions on Pyongyang.
“The United States and North Korea have been in a state of antagonism for more than half a century,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
“Today, that the two countries’ highest leaders can sit together and have equal talks, has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang later said that UN sanctions against the North could be suspended or lifted in accordance with Pyongyang’s actions.
“We believe the Security Council should make efforts to support the diplomatic efforts at the present time,” he said.
China wants to ensure its interests are preserved in any negotiations, including that they don’t result in a unified Korea that is pro-America.
For its part, Russia had a positive assessment of the deal — but “the devil is in the detail,” TASS news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying, according to Reuters.
“Now we can only welcome the fact that an important step forward has been made,” Ryabkov said. “Of course, the devil is in the detail, and we have yet to delve into specifics. But the impulse, as far as we understand, has been given.”
Russia is prepared to help in implementing the deal toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula — and hopes settling the nuclear crisis will spark normal economic cooperation, RIA news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying.
He also said the Kremlin hoped that six-party talks — a negotiation format involving the two Koreas, the US, Russia, Japan and China — will at some point become relevant again, according to TASS.
And in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lauded the agreement’s references to denuclearization and said he was willing to engage with Pyongyang to resolve the Cold War abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korean spies.
“I’m determined that Japan will have to directly face North Korea and resolve (the abductions) bilaterally,” Abe told reporters, according to The Guardian.
Japan has made the return of any surviving abductees — or securing verifiable accounts of their fates — a condition for resuming diplomatic ties and providing economic help to the rogue regime.
Iran, meanwhile, warned Kim not to trust Trump, who, it said, could cancel their denuclearization agreement in a matter of hours.
“We don’t know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning back home,” Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was quoted as saying by the IRNA new agency.
Trump last month pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, calling it deeply flawed and reimposing unilateral sanctions.
India’s foreign ministry said it hoped for complete implementation of the agreement signed in Singapore, “thus paving the way for lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.”
Denmark offered a cautious assessment of the summit, describing it as a diplomatic breakthrough — but adding that “history shows we must be vigilant.”
The office of the Danish prime minister said: “North Korea has previously agreed to disarmament and not kept its word.”
With Post wires

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