US President Donald Trump pledged Thursday to complete a deal on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula together with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, signaling that negotiations remain alive after weeks of an apparent deadlock.
“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” Trump exclaimed on Twitter.
The tweet came hours after Kim renewed his own commitment to the goal of denuclearization in talks with a special envoy from Seoul ahead of a summit planned in Pyongyang for September 18-20 with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“The north and the south should further their efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” KCNA cited Kim as saying.
South Korean national security advisor Chung Eui-yong, who met with Kim, said the North Korean leader also emphasised that his “trust in Trump remains unchanged,” the comment which led to the US president’s tweet.
Chung added that Kim expressed his intention to work closely with the United States to achieve denuclearization “in the first official term of President Trump,” which ends in January 2021.
– End to impasse? –
The enthusiastic comments came 12 days after Trump summarily canceled a trip to Pyongyang by his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, that aimed at getting the discussions on North Korea’s nuclear talks back on track three months after Trump’s landmark summit with Kim in Singapore.
In a statement on August 24, Trump said he was scotching Pompeo’s trip “because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
He also slammed China as not helping with the effort to convince Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.
“Additionally, because of our much tougher trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were,” Trump said at the time.
Thursday’s statements by the two leaders appeared to paper over differences the two sides have over what the current talks should focus on.
Pyongyang apparently wants to first achieve an official end to the seven-decade state of war with South Korea, while Washington wants to start immediately on the long process of denuclearization.
Stephen Biegun, newly-appointed US envoy for the North, said last month Kim had promised “final, fully verified denuclearization” at the Singapore summit.
But Pyongyang has slammed Washington for its “gangster-like” demands for complete nuclear disarmament.
– Pompeo: ‘still much work to do’ –
The State Department announced Thursday that Biegun would travel to South Korea, China and Japan next week for talks on North Korea.
In New Delhi Thursday, Secretary of State Pompeo, the former US intelligence chief who heads the US negotiating effort, struck a sober note, saying there is still much work to do.
North Korea “is the only country that has commitments under UN Security Council resolutions,” he told reporters.
“It is the case that there is still an enormous amount of work to do. We haven’t had any nuclear tests, we haven’t had any missile tests, which we consider a great thing.”
“But the work of convincing Chairman Kim to make the strategic shift which we talked about, for a brighter future for the people of North Korea, continues,” Pompeo added.
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."