Trump to grant Kim's wishes after denuclearisation: S. Korea President

An undated picture released yesterday showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visiting a shoe factory in the country.
An undated picture released yesterday showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visiting a shoe factory in the country.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Second Trump-Kim meet in the works as dispute over terms of nuke deal continues

HONG KONG • United States President Donald Trump will grant North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un his wishes if he delivers on denuclearisation, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said, following talks on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit.

As officials work to arrange a second meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim, Mr Moon relayed a message to reporters given to him by the US President to pass on to the North's leader.

"And the message was that President Trump has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim and that he likes him, and so he wishes Chairman Kim would implement the rest of their agreement and that he would make what Chairman Kim wants come true," Mr Moon told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday, while en route to New Zealand.

Speaking in Buenos Aires, where he discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula with Mr Moon, Mr Trump said he hoped to organise a follow-up meeting with Mr Kim for early next year.

"We're getting along very well. We have a good relationship," he said. When asked last Saturday if he would ever host the North Korean leader in the US, Mr Trump replied: "At some point, yeah."

Mr Trump and Mr Kim held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation. But progress has been slow, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

US officials insist on the complete, verified and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula before sanctions are lifted.

A FRIENDLY VIEW

And the message was that President Trump has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim and that he likes him, and so he wishes Chairman Kim would implement the rest of their agreement and that he would make what Chairman Kim wants come true.

MR MOON JAE-IN, on the message US President Donald Trump asked him to relay to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal US measures in a gradual process.

Differences also remain between Washington and Seoul on how to proceed with Mr Kim, as the dovish Mr Moon favours more robust engagement with the North.

North and South Korea have begun to remove landmines and destroy military bunkers along parts of their common border amid efforts to improve long-strained ties.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported Mr Trump as saying he expects to hold a second summit with Mr Kim as soon as next month.

"I think we're going to do one, fairly, into January, February," Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned late last Saturday from the G-20 summit in Argentina.

He did not specify which sites were under consideration, saying they had not been determined yet.

Mr Trump last Saturday met Chinese President Xi Jinping, who threw his support behind further meetings between Mr Trump and the North Korean leader.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2018, with the headline 'Trump to grant Kim's wishes after denuclearisation: S. Korea President'. Print Edition | Subscribe