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World South Korea struggles to digest strange new reality of Kim Jong Un bonding with White House

07:07  14 june  2018
07:07  14 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

Giuliani: Kim Jong Un 'begged' for summit to be rescheduled

  Giuliani: Kim Jong Un 'begged' for summit to be rescheduled North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "begged" US President Donald Trump to reschedule their summit meeting after Trump abruptly canceled it last month, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani said Wednesday. Trump had canceled the now-rescheduled June 12 meeting with Kim after statements from North Korea in May that called US Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and said Pyongyang was ready for a nuclear showdown with Washington if dialogue failed. "We said we're not going to have a summit under those circumstances," Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, told a business conference in Tel Aviv, Israel.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) pose for photos in front of Bukhansan Peace House at the Inter- Korean Summit on April 27, 2018, in Panmunjom, South Korea .

White House releases photos of meeting between Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un . Trump's comments came just hours before Kim was to cross the 38th parallel to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the first time since 2007.

a man wearing a suit and tie: America's Asian allies react to Trump-Kim deal © Provided by Reuters America's Asian allies react to Trump-Kim deal

SEOUL — At a place of reflection — a Buddhist temple with a centuries-old tree — a 70-year-old woman walked the perfectly swept grounds Wednesday and thought about what possible peace with North Korea would mean for her children and their children.

“It’s everything,” said Kim Ji-hye. “Does it matter what deals are done? Peace and reunification are everything.”

“Wait a minute,” interrupted her husband, Park Byung-hun, 74. “At any cost? Peace at any cost? That is wrong. This process with North Korea is wrong.”

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Pompeo: N.Korea's Kim told me he was 'prepared to denuclearize'

  Pompeo: N.Korea's Kim told me he was 'prepared to denuclearize' Washington's top diplomat Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Kim Jong Un had personally informed him that North Korea is ready to give up its nuclear arsenal. The secretary of state is the most senior US official to have met the North Korean leader and a key figure in preparations for next week's historic summit.US President Donald Trump is due to meet Kim on June 12 in Singapore for a summit called to press Pyongyang to end its nuclear and long-range missile programs. "He has indicated to me personally that he's prepared to denuclearize. That he understands that the current model doesn't work," Pompeo said.

Korea 's leader Kim Jong Un sign documents after their summit in Singapore (Reuters)The document was not immediately released, but president met with a ruling Kim family patriarch, as previous White Houses refused to validate the regime amid its nuclear provocations and human rights abuses.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump shook hands and smiled cautiously as they met at their historic summit in Singapore on 11.19 am: Trump says ‘We have developed a very special bond ’ and ‘absolutely’ willing to invite Kim Jong Un to the White House .

Multiply this conversation by millions at kitchen tables, rail stations, parks and just about anywhere across South Korea as a conflicted country tries to digest everything thrown at it from the Singapore summit.

No place has more at stake with the outreach to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Yet so much has happened so quickly that arguments and viewpoints of just last week suddenly seem old. Now, South Koreans are trying to decide how they feel about once-unimaginable changes, among them the apparent halt of U.S.-South Korean military exercises and the direct line to the White House that Kim now possibly enjoys.

The main divisions in South Korea run along established political lines. Backers of President Moon Jae-in generally favor South Korea’s engagement with the North, which has included talks on many fronts over the past months. Moon’s right-wing opposition, like the husband at the temple, claims his government is being foolish to open to Kim’s regime without getting anything clear in return.

Kim Jong Un brought his own toilet to the summit with Trump

  Kim Jong Un brought his own toilet to the summit with Trump In "loo" of using the public restrooms at the historic summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled with his ownPresident Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un are both in Singapore for their highly anticipated summit, the first of its kind between a U.S. president and a leader of North Korea. And while officials remain uncertain as to what exactly will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented discussions, Mr. Trump has stated that he wants to strike a deal to get the Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

Currencies. Cryptocurrency. Bonds . North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The White House still has no ambassador to South Korea , more than a

At a closing ceremony of the historic summit, a picture of North Korea 's leader Kim Jong - un and South Korea 's President Moon Jae-in from earlier in the day is beamed onto the Peace House where the talks took place.

The summit and its suggestions of progress, however, are likely to boost Moon’s hand. Elections for local councils and other regional seats across South Korea on Wednesday tipped strongly in favor of Moon’s liberal Minjoo Party, according to exit polls, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

But the fissures run deeper than just party identity.

Some pro-military South Koreans feel deeply betrayed by President Trump’s surprise announcement about suspending joint armed-forces drills, which have been the most vivid display of the U.S.-South Korean alliance since the Korean War. Rights activists complain that Moon and Trump are letting the North off the hook over its atrocious record of abuses and repression. Fiscal-minded South Koreans wonder whether possible reunification could drain the South’s treasury.

And the list goes on.

Moon’s government welcomed Tuesday’s summit as a “historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on earth.” But the post-summit statement avoided any mention of the suspension of military drills or Trump’s suggestion that he could pare down U.S. troop levels in South Korea at some point. A top government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials here were still trying to figure out whether Trump’s reference to “war games” really meant all the drills, whose biggest maneuvers can include more than 300,000 U.S. and South Korean troops and others.

Kim Jong Un accepts Trump's invitation to Washington: report

  Kim Jong Un accepts Trump's invitation to Washington: report <p>North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accepted President Trump's invitation to visit Washington, D.C., North Korea's Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday evening.</p>#BREAKING Kim accepts Trump's invitation to visit US, says KCNA pic.twitter.

South Korean delegation including President Moon Jae-in and North Korean delegation including Leader Kim Jong Un sit down for the Inter- Korean Summit at the Peace House on April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool—Getty Images.

WASHINGTON — The war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong - un , North Korea ’s leader, raised concerns on Friday that it could escalate into a new and more volatile phase as the White House weighed its next steps in response to a threat by Pyongyang to conduct the world’s first

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been assigned to decipher the summit for South Korea and another bedrock ally, Japan. Pompeo met Thursday in Seoul with Moon and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono before heading to Beijing.

Nothing about the summit sat well with Moon Seong-mook, a former South Korean military official.

He said Trump’s comments reinforced fears that North Korea could try to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul.

“The core of the U.S.-South Korea alliance is the U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and the joint U.S.-South Korea military drills, but the American military presence in South Korea wouldn’t mean much if the militaries don’t practice through joint drills,” Moon, a senior analyst for the Seoul-based Unification Strategic Center, told South Korean media.

Ihn Ji-yeon, a Seoul mayoral candidate from the far-right Korean Patriots’ Party, has campaigned on one overriding message: Reaching out to Kim’s regime will end badly.

“Seeing the North Korean flag hanging side by side with the American flag in the summit venue, I thought the state of U.S.-South Korea alliance is at risk,” she said. “Kim Jong Un is not to be trusted. This summit and the dialogues that follow will definitely put us into greater danger.”

N.Korea state media says Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North

  N.Korea state media says Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said it was "urgent" for North Korea and the United States to halt "irritating and hostile military actions against each other" during talks on Tuesday with U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korea's state media said on Wednesday. North Korea and the United States should commit to avoid antagonizing each other and take legal, institutional steps to guarantee it, Kim said according to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).The report added Trump said he "understood" and promised to halt joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises while talks with the North were continuing.

White House restricts journalists' access to parts of Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un . U. S. President Donald Trump gestures toward the media with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

White House restricts journalists' access to parts of Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un . U. S. President Donald Trump gestures toward the media with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

This idea casts a wide net. Even some professed liberals see the military drills as more than just troops training. To 38-year-old artist Cho Ki-seob, from the southern island of Jeju, the exercises are a symbol of generational bonds with the United States.

“I don’t think [South Korea and the United States] hold joint military drills just because of North Korea,” he said. “Even when the North Korea issues are solved, the joint military drills shouldn’t be stopped immediately. Instead, I think they should be continued, even on a smaller scale, for the sake of the alliance.”

Yet it is not hard to hear very different voices. Groups of protesters gather often to call for the full exit of American forces. “Withdraw, withdraw, withdraw,” they chant.

Human rights campaigners complain that the North Korean leader is being rewarded with concessions and international prestige even as his government punishes dissent with political prisons and torture, according to U.N. reports and other groups.

“It gives me an odd feeling,” said Lee Hee-moon, an activist with a Christian group. “This isn’t a person who was elected into office. He’s a dictator. North Korea is the most oppressive country for religious freedom.”

The South Korean government tries hard to keep the focus on its parallel talks with the North, which began after the ice-breaking moves by both sides during the Winter Olympics in February in PyeongChang.

So far, the negotiations have broken some ground on efforts for family reunifications and other exchanges. On Tuesday, South Korea approved opening talks on exchange students between Seoul National University and the North’s Kim Il Sung University. Military envoys from both Koreas met Thursday in the truce village of Panmunjom, with a possible hotline and other items on the agenda.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula would have a ripple effect, said Lee Jong-sik, who watched the summit unfold on a big-screen TV at Seoul’s main railway station. “That would be good for China, for Japan, for worldwide peace,” said Lee, who applauded when he saw Trump and Kim shake hands and sat stunned as Trump talked about inviting Kim to visit the United States.

Choi Jeong-suk was waiting for her train with one eye on the TV screens during the summit. She wrongly called Kim president, but the point was made.

“A young president and an old president were brought together by their desire for peace,” she said. “I think that’s good. I’m so happy.”

brian.murphy@washpost.com

Min Joo Kim and Joyce Lee contributed to this report.

White House deputy chief of staff to leave in July .
The White House aide who led the planning for President Donald Trump's meeting last week with North Korea's Kim Jong Un has decided to leave the Trump administration to return to the private sector.Joe Hagin, the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, has served in every Republican White House since the Reagan administration. He held the same title in George W. Bush's White House.Hagin's departure comes as the Trump administration continues to set records for staff turnover. More than 60 percent of those who served in senior positions at the beginning of the administration have exited.Trump, in a statement, says Hagin has been a "huge asset to my administration.

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