‘Location for second meeting with Kim Jong-un finalised,’ says Donald Trump

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Washington: US President Donald Trump on January 18 said that the venue for the second meeting between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been finalised and the same will be announced in the coming days.

The second North Korea-US summit is scheduled to be held near the end of February, after Trump on January 18 met senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol at the White House for fixing a meeting with the North Korean leader and to discuss the issue of denuclearisation.

“We had a very good meeting yesterday with North Korea. That was an incredible meeting,” Trump was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

“It (The meeting) lasted almost two hours and we’ve agreed to meet sometime probably the end of February. We’ve picked the country but we’ll be announcing it in the future,” he added.

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Kim Yong Chol arrived in Washington DC on January 17, which was only his second visit to the US in less than a year. He last visited the country in June last year.

In his first visit that took place last June, the top North Korean official visited New York and held talks with Pompeo before travelling to Washington DC, where he met Trump for two hours and handed over a letter from Kim Jong-un to him.

In that visit, Kim Yong Chol managed to break the deadlock between the US and North Korea, leading to the first-ever meeting between Trump and Kim days later at Capella Hotel in Singapore.

Several media reports have indicated that Vietnam is likely the probable venue for the second meeting between Trump and Kim. It is worth mentioning here that both the US and North Korea have their respective embassies in the communist nation.

Trump claimed that a “lot of progress” was made during his first meeting with Kim Jong-un at Singapore last June, and the same was “not reported by the media.” He further said that he was looking forward to meeting the North Korean leader.

“Kim Jong-un is looking very forward to it (the second meeting) and so am I. We’ve made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media. But we have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearisation is concerned and we’re talking about a lot of different things,” the US President further said.

Kim Jong-un has repeatedly stated that his government is committed to fulfilling its promise of achieving denuclearisation and said the same even during his maiden meeting with Trump.

Even though engagements between Washington and Pyongyang reached new heights in 2018 with the unprecedented first meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, the last few months of the year saw a stalemate in relations.

Progress after the first summit has been slow as North Korea has been eyeing sanctions relief. However, the US has insisted that the sanctions would remain intact till the communist country took proper steps for ensuring “fully complete and verifiable denuclearisation.”

Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s speech, had threatened that his country would have to “seek a new way” if the US “does not make good on its promises” with regard to denuclearisation and continues with sanctions.

In response, the US has remained firm that sanctions will remain “in full force and effect.”

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