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Kim Jong-un to visit Russian Federation

17 April 2019

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is pushing for another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations between the USA and North Korea.

On Monday, the North's state TV began its programming earlier than on other national holidays and broadcast programs highlighting the achievements of the late founder and the legitimacy of the current Kim Jong Un regime.

Moon stressed that he wants to have a specific and substantial discussion with Kim, indicating that he would seek more than simply arranging a North-U.S. summit when he meets Kim for the fourth time.

Trump said after the summit that North Korea had committed to "totally" dismantling its main Yongbyon nuclear complex, but that the lifting of the sanctions would require Pyongyang to scrap other nuclear facilities and programs, including undeclared ones.

Moon had his first summit with Kim in Panmunjom last April and another one in May.

However, Kim said he remained committed to improving relations with South Korea if it showed its "sincerity by practical action, not by words". "President Trump also expressed his sympathy for the need of an inter-Korean summit and expressed expectations", Moon said.

Since Moon told Trump that he will push for another inter-Korean summit in line with Trump's desire to continue talks with the North, the South Korean president is expected to emphasize the need for dialogue during Monday's meeting.

North Korea has held a series of sports and cultural events over the past few days.

The breakdown of the Trump-Kim meeting in February raised doubts about Moon's claim that Kim could be persuaded to deal away his nuclear weapons for economic and security benefits and also about Seoul's role as a diplomatic catalyst, which became less crucial once Washington and Pyongyang established direct talks. South Korea: Why has the peninsula been divided?

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Washington has blamed the deadlock on the North's demands for sanctions relief in return for limited nuclear disarmament, but Pyongyang said it had wanted only some of the measures eased.

"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.

Moon said Trump was supportive of his plan for an inter-Korean summit when they met in Washington last week.

From past experience, the North Koreans may elect to mount a provocation, be that act directed at the United States, Japan or South Korea. In Kim's speech, three core examples of this policy were the United States' refusal to grant sanctions relief, its continuation of modified military exercises with South Korea, and a recent USA missile defense test against an intercontinental-range ballistic missile-class target.

"In his speech after being re-elected as the State Affairs Commission chairman, Kim once again declared his strong determination for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace", Moon said.

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

North Korean charge d'affaires in Moscow, Jin Jong Hyuk, said Thursday that Pyongyang expects a number of mutual visits by high-level Russian and North Korean delegations in the future.

Kim Jong-un to visit Russian Federation