Uncategorized Trump set for summits with Korean leaders

Trump set for summits with Korean leaders

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Kim Jong-un and Trump

A series of announcements from the U.S. Friday revealed that summit meetings have been arranged with both President Donald Trump’s North and South Korean counterparts.

The White House announced that Trump will welcome the South’s President Moon Jae-in to Washington for a summit on May 22, which was also confirmed by Seoul’s presidential office.

Trump himself told reporters on the same day that a time and place has been set for his first meeting with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un, although he did not provide further details about the arrangements except to say it will be “very soon”.

Moon’s visit to the U.S. is seen as a chance for Seoul and Washington to coordinate on Trump’s meeting with Kim, as South Korea has already outlined an agreement with its northern neighbor to pursue peace and denuclearization after decades of tensions since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire.

“In this summit, (Moon and Trump) plan to reaffirm the solid alliance between South Korea and the U.S. and the two countries’ deep friendship,” Seoul’s presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a statement carried by local news agency Yonhap Saturday.

“They will focus on discussing ways to successfully prepare for the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit,” he added.

The Trump-Kim talks are expected to take place in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, where Moon met the North’s leader on April 27 for the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Seoul’s presidential security advisor Chung Eui-yong was joined by his American counterpart John Bolton Friday in dismissing a New York Times report claiming that the U.S. is considering a troop reduction in South Korea.

Having hosted Chung for talks, Bolton criticized the story as “utter nonsense.”

Nearly 30,000 American military personnel are stationed in the South as a legacy of the Korean War, although the North’s repeated opposition to U.S. Forces in Korea has led to speculation that Pyongyang may try to negotiate at least a partial troop withdrawal, while Trump has been openly unhappy about the cost of the deployment.

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