Executive Intelligence Review


Diplomacy Forges Ahead for Meeting between U.S. and D.P.R.K. Leaders Trump and Kim

March 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on March 16, to discuss the next steps in Korean diplomacy, according to Xinhua and other media. The two spoke for 35 minutes, and agreed to continue in close collaboration in every phase of the process.

“The South Korean President said he will seek to create a good atmosphere when he meets with top D.P.R.K. leader Kim Jong-un, so that the U.S.-D.P.R.K. summit can be held successfully,”

Xinhua reported.

At the same time, Moon’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok told a press briefing that President Moon will be proposing that high-level officials of both North and South Korea meet in late March, to work out the details of the inter-Korean summit which is scheduled for April. He also said that Moon has formed a special advisory group of several dozen former government officials who had prepared earlier inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, to get their input.

A Global Times op-ed by Hu Xijin raises the sticky question of where the Trump-Kim summit will be held, given the North’s extreme concerns over security, and the possibility that the summit could conceivably be used to carry out a U.S. hit on Kim. Stockholm is one option being considered, as are Beijing; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Panmunjom, a village just north of the DMZ, that sits on the 38th parallel dividing the Koreas.

Stockholm has come up because North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, is in Sweden where he held talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on March 16. He was accompanied by Choe Kang Il, deputy Director General of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s North America section. On March 15 and early March 16, the two North Koreans held talks with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. The talks occur amid speculation that Sweden could host a meeting between the President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.