Hopes raised: Can the second Trump-Kim summit end the Korean War?

Frederick Owens
February 9, 2019

The president tweeted the location on Friday, saying his representatives had just left North Korea after a "productive meeting" on the February 27-28 summit.

"Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim agreed to meet again in advance of President [Donald] Trump and Chairman Kim [Jong-un]'s second summit", the release said on Friday.

Ahead of his visit to the Koreas, Bigeun said last week that Kim had committed to "the dismantlement and destruction of North Korea's plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities" during a September summit with Moon and at a meeting with the U.S. secretary of state in October.

Some observers said that the allies could delay the two major exercises depending on the outcome of the Trump-Kim meeting.

The US envoy was also likely to have discussed protocol and security matters for the upcoming Trump-Kim summit with his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol.

Discussions on declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War could also have been on the table, with Biegun last week saying Trump was "ready to end this war".

North Korea's economy is considered to be sluggish due largely to the worldwide sanctions, aimed at preventing it from developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

In a separate tweet shortly after announcing the summit's host city, Trump again played up this aspect.

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Before going to Pyongyang, Biegun was in Seoul for talks with South Korean officials about the next summit between Trump and Kim, who first met last June in Singapore.

Biegun said Kim Jong Un committed during an October visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the dismantling and destruction of plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities and that "corresponding measures" demanded by North Korea would be the subject of his talks.

"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse".

"North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!" he said.

"He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is", Trump said.

North Korea has since insisted that US-led sanctions against the country should be lifted before there's any progress in nuclear negotiations, and Kim has yet to convincingly show that he'll voluntarily relinquish an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. The U.S. envoy is scheduled to travel to the South Korean capital afterward.

Yonhap said Stephen Biegun, the United States special representative for North Korea, landed at a U.S. air base in Osan, just south of Seoul.

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