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North and South Korea Put U.S.-DPRK Summit Back on Track

Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-i In convene a surprise meeting on, May 26, 2018, at Panmunjom to push the peace process forward.

On May 24, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump , cancelled his June 12 summit meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un in response to a statement by North Korean Foreign Vice Minister, Choe Son Hui, admonishing U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for warning North Korea that it could suffer the same fate as Libya if it did not make a deal with the United States.

North Korea’s First Vice Minister, Kim Kye Gwan, expressed “regret” on May 25, 2018 at Trump’s decision to cancel the summit, explaining that Madame Choe’s remarks were “a reaction to the unbridled remarks made by the U.S. side which has long pressed the DPRK unilaterally to scrap nuclear program ahead of the DPRK-U.S. summit.” He also stated, “But we remain unchanged in our goal and will to do everything we could for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the U.S. side time and opportunity.” 

On May 25, 2018, Trump told reporters that Kim’s statement “was a very nice statement” and later that evening he tweeted, “We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.” 

Doubling down on the prospect of rejuvenating the June 12 Summit, Chairman Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in convened an unannounced and unprecedented summit on the northern side of Panmunjom, within the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the next day. “The two heads of state had a frank exchange of views on the implementation of the April 27 summit agreement and for the successful holding of the North Korea-United States summit,” President Moon’s spokesperson, Yoon Young-chan, reported.

It is expected that a joint statement announcing the outcome of Chairman Kim and President Moon’s second summit will be released on Sunday, May 27,, 2018.  In the meantime, what follows are the English and Korean texts of Kim Kye Gwan’s statement of May 25, 2018, inviting the United States back to the peace table.

Statement of DPRK First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs

Pyongyang, May 25 (KCNA) — Kim Kye Gwan, first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, issued the following statement Friday upon authorization:

The historic summit is now high on the agenda between the DPRK and the U.S., and the preparations for it are being pushed forward at the final stage amid the remarkably great concern of the world.

The sincere pursuit and active efforts made by the DPRK to end the relations of hostility and distrust that have lasted for decades and build a new landmark for the improvement of the DPRK-U.S. relations have commanded unanimous sympathy and support from the public at home and abroad.

But suddenly President of the United States of America Trump made public his official stand on May 24 to cancel the DPRK-U.S. summit that had already been made a fait accompli.

Explaining the reason for it, he said that the statement made by Vice Foreign Minister of the DPRK Choe Son Hui carried “tremendous anger and open hostility” and that it is not appropriate to hold the meeting at present, a precious one that has long been planned.

I would like to take this expression of his stand on the DPRK-U.S. summit as a decision not consistent with the desire of humankind for peace and stability in the world, to say nothing of those in the Korean peninsula.

As for the “tremendous anger and open hostility” referred to by President Trump, it is just a reaction to the unbridled remarks made by the U.S. side which has long pressed the DPRK unilaterally to scrap nuclear program ahead of the DPRK-U.S. summit.

The inglorious situation today is a vivid expression of the severity of the present status of the hostile DPRK-U.S. relations of long historical roots and the urgent necessity for the summit meeting for the improvement of the ties.

As far as the historic DPRK-U.S. summit is concerned, we have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other U.S. presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit.

His sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we can not but feel great regret for it.

It is hard to guess the reasons. It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident. But for our part, we have exerted sincere efforts, raising hope that the historic DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks themselves would mark a meaningful starting point for peace and security in the region and the world and the improvement of the bilateral relations as the first step forward to settling the issue through dialogue.

We even inwardly hoped that what is called “Trump formula” would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue.

The chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK has also exerted all efforts for the preparations for the summit, saying that the meeting with President Trump could help make a good start.

The U.S. side’s unilateral announcement of the cancellation of the summit makes us think over if we were truly right to have made efforts for it and to have opted for the new path.

But we remain unchanged in our goal and will to do everything we could for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the U.S. side time and opportunity.

The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse. The U.S. should ponder over it.

We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time. -0-

조선외무성 제1부상 담화 발표

조선민주주의인민공화국 외무성 제1부상 김계관은 25일 위임에 따라 다음과 같은 담화를 발표하였다.

지금 조미사이에는 세계가 비상한 관심속에 주시하는 력사적인 수뇌상봉이 일정에 올라있으며 그 준비사업도 마감단계에서 추진되고있다.

수십년에 걸친 적대와 불신의 관계를 청산하고 조미관계개선의 새로운 리정표를 마련하려는 우리의 진지한 모색과 적극적인 노력들은 내외의 한결같은 공감과 지지를 받고있다.

그런 가운데 24일 미합중국 트럼프대통령이 불현듯 이미 기정사실화되여있던 조미수뇌상봉을 취소하겠다는 공식립장을 발표하였다.

트럼프대통령은 그 리유에 대하여 우리 외무성 최선희부상의 담화내용에 《커다란 분노와 로골적인 적대감》이 담겨져있기때문이라고 하면서 오래전부터 계획되여있던 귀중한 만남을 가지는것이 현 시점에서는 적절치 않다고 밝히였다.

나는 조미수뇌상봉에 대한 트럼프대통령의 립장표명이 조선반도는 물론 세계의 평화와 안정을 바라는 인류의 념원에 부합되지 않는 결정이라고 단정하고싶다.

트럼프대통령이 거론한 《커다란 분노와 로골적인 적대감》이라는것은 사실 조미수뇌상봉을 앞두고 일방적인 핵페기를 압박해온 미국측의 지나친 언행이 불러온 반발에 지나지 않는다.

벌어진 불미스러운 사태는 력사적뿌리가 깊은 조미적대관계의 현 실태가 얼마나 엄중하며 관계개선을 위한 수뇌상봉이 얼마나 절실히 필요한가를 그대로 보여주고있다.

력사적인 조미수뇌상봉에 대하여 말한다면 우리는 트럼프대통령이 지난 시기 그 어느 대통령도 내리지 못한 용단을 내리고 수뇌상봉이라는 중대사변을 만들기 위해 노력한데 대하여 의연 내심 높이 평가하여왔다.

그런데 돌연 일방적으로 회담취소를 발표한것은 우리로서는 뜻밖의 일이며 매우 유감스럽게 생각하지 않을수 없다.

수뇌상봉에 대한 의지가 부족했는지 아니면 자신감이 없었던탓인지 그 리유에 대해서는 가늠하기 어려우나 우리는 력사적인 조미수뇌상봉과 회담 그자체가 대화를 통한 문제해결의 첫걸음으로서 지역과 세계의 평화와 안전,두 나라사이의 관계개선에 의미있는 출발점이 되리라는 기대를 가지고 성의있는 노력을 다하여왔다.

또한 《트럼프방식》이라고 하는것이 쌍방의 우려를 다같이 해소하고 우리의 요구조건에도 부합되며 문제해결의 실질적작용을 하는 현명한 방안이 되기를 은근히 기대하기도 하였다.

우리 국무위원회 위원장께서도 트럼프대통령과 만나면 좋은 시작을 뗄수 있을것이라고 하시면서 그를 위한 준비에 모든 노력을 기울여오시였다.

그럼에도 불구하고 미국측의 일방적인 회담취소공개는 우리로 하여금 여직껏 기울인 노력과 우리가 새롭게 선택하여 가는 이 길이 과연 옳은가 하는것을 다시금 생각하게 만들고있다.

하지만 조선반도와 인류의 평화와 안정을 위하여 모든것을 다하려는 우리의 목표와 의지에는 변함이 없으며 우리는 항상 대범하고 열린 마음으로 미국측에 시간과 기회를 줄 용의가 있다.

만나서 첫술에 배가 부를리는 없겠지만 한가지씩이라도 단계별로 해결해나간다면 지금보다 관계가 좋아지면 좋아졌지 더 나빠지기야 하겠는가 하는것쯤은 미국도 깊이 숙고해보아야 할것이다.

우리는 아무때나 어떤 방식으로든 마주앉아 문제를 풀어나갈 용의가 있음을 미국측에 다시금 밝힌다.(끝)


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