Hopes were rekindled Wednesday of a possible third summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, even though Pyongyang criticized Washington and its “hostility.”
The North Korean Foreign Ministry claimed the U.S. had engaged in “extreme hostile acts” against their country, although it did not mention Trump in its criticism.
However, despite the sharp reproval addressed to the U.S., South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested the two countries had been holding “behind the scenes” discussions about a potential third summit between the two leaders.
“There’s no reason to regard the current situation as a stalemate in the peace process on the peninsula just because the pace has remained slow,” Moon said in a written question-and-answer session with several media outlets. “Complete denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the peninsula are tasks that cannot be achieved overnight.”
Ever since the failed Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim, denuclearization talks between their countries appear to have hit a snag. But the two leaders had recently exchanged letters, reviving hopes that a third meeting between them is possible. They described the letters as “excellent” and “beautiful.”
Trump, who is to visit South Korea after the G20 summit in Japan, may travel to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas as well, said a South Korean government official.
Still, the apparently amicable relationship between Trump and Kim does not seem to influence relations between their countries. Duyeon Kim, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said the harsh North Korean statement distinguishes “their bromance from the relationship between their two countries.”
“It sounds like they’re sending a warning to Washington, almost as if to manage expectations ahead of a third summit, while making an appeal to Trump to basically put a straight jacket on his staff,” he noted.
The statement by the spokesperson for the North Korean ministry said the country “is not a country that will surrender to the U.S. sanctions, nor are we a country which the U.S. could attack whenever it desires to do so.”