Donald Trump heads to South Korea to save floundering nuclear talks

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Mr Moon claimed on Wednesday that North Korean and American officials were already holding “behind-the-scenes talks” to arrange a third summit, while Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said he hoped the letter to Kim would lay a “good foundation” for immediate dialogue. 

But Pyongyang threw cold water on those hopes on Thursday. “The US repeatedly talks about the resumption of dialogue like a parrot without considering any realistic proposal that would fully conform with the interests of both sides,” it said in a foreign ministry statement. 

North Korea also rebuked the South, warning Seoul to stop trying to play the role of mediator. 

“I wouldn’t get my hopes up for movement toward a third summit, though I’m sure they will discuss it and how to jumpstart working level talks,” said Mr Narang, of this weekend’s summit. 

Mr Moon would likely try to push Mr Trump to accept a “good enough deal” or “a deal that is comprehensive in scope but phased and simultaneously step-by-step in implementation,” he explained. 

But South and North Korea still believed that “peace and trust” were necessary prior conditions to denuclearisation, while the Trump administration insisted unilateral disarmament must come first, he said. “There is no evidence that gap has narrowed since Hanoi.”  



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