Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Vietnam woman in Kim brother murder to be freed on May 3

Vietnam woman in Kim brother murder to be freed on May 3

In late March, South Korean media reported that Kim Chang Son, the de facto chief of staff for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, visited Moscow to discuss a visit to Russian Federation by the latter, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

"I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand", Trump posted to Twitter.

But there are fears in Seoul that the hopeful developments of 2018 could be undone because of the mismatched demands between Washington and Pyongyang over sanctions relief and disarmament, which have derailed a high-stakes Trump-Kim meeting and prolonged a stalemate in negotiations.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said earlier, citing sources in Moscow, that Kim Jong-un might visit Russian Federation next week. During that speech, he said that North Korea needed to increase its self-reliance and "deal a telling blow to hostile forces" seeking to apply sanctions pressure.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with his aids at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 15, 2019.

"As soon as the North's conditions are satisfied, I hope the two Koreas will sit down, regardless of place and format, to have a specific and substantial discussion on a plan to produce an outcome that goes beyond the two North-U.S. summits", Moon said.

Trump and Kim held their first landmark summit in Singapore last June, where they signed a vaguely-worded agreement on the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

But Moon did not specifically respond to Kim's criticism that South Korea was too subservient to the "anachronistic arrogance and hostile policy of the United States", and that the South's military persisted in "veiled hostility" by conducting exercises with USA forces.

Moon's message was clearly a response to Kim's speech to newly-elected members of the North's rubber stamp legislature on Friday.

While North Korea and the United States have been discussing the North's denuclearization, USA ally South Korea has been taking steps to improve its ties with its old rival.

Kim, who has recently pledged to build a "powerful socialist economy", asked the United States to ease economic sanctions, arguing it has already started to implement concrete measures toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

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