North Korea to fete 70th birthday with tanks, dancing masses

Geneva Stokes
September 9, 2018

North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Kim told the South's envoys that his "fixed stand" was to turn the Korean peninsula into "a cradle of peace without nuclear weapons, free from nuclear threat".

"Chairman Kim emphasized that he has never made a negative comment about Trump", Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's top national security adviser, said at a media briefing on Thursday.

Trump called off a planned visit to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month, citing insufficient progress in denuclearization.

At a landmark June summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim in, the two leaders pledged to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula but no details were agreed.

"He said he would appreciate that such good faith is accepted with good faith", Chung said.

"He made it clear that his trust in President Trump is unchanged".

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he believes will be positive, is on its way to him, a day after expressing fresh optimism about a denuclearization deal.

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The phrase "complete denuclearization" - a term long preferred by North Korea - could be read to preclude nuclear-capable US bombers and submarines from operating near South Korea.

Another professor, Kim Joon-hyung of Handong University, found it significant that Kim did not link his Korean War peace treaty proposal to the removal of USA troops from the Korean peninsula.

The South Korean envoy's visit to Pyongyang came amid a deadlock on the North's atomic weapons, with United States efforts to dismantle the arsenal stalled for weeks. A Syrian delegation arrived this week and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang later this month, The Associated Press reported. As Schmitz reported, "The U.S. has insisted that a peace declaration, which many see as a precursor to the removal of U.S. troops from the South, can not come before the North takes more concrete action toward abandoning nuclear weapons". The dismantled missile-engine test site at Tongchang-ri is North Korea's only test facility.

US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. The article said the North has shown "goodwill and generosity" through actions such as returning USA war remains and dismantling a nuclear testing ground, but that the United States has failed to respond similarly.

"What matters is implementing with sincerity the agreements among the leaders, and our objective is producing irrevocable progress by the end of this year", Moon said, referring to denuclearization and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Rorry Daniels, an Asia security specialist, says "the fact that the Chinese are sending a high-level pretty powerful official says that China has received some kind of assurances that North Korea will not be debuting any new technology at this parade". The impasse between North Korea and the United States, with neither side seemingly willing to make any substantive move, has generated widespread skepticism over Trump's claims that Kim is intent on dismantling his nuclear weapons program.

It is literally the embodiment of socialist ideals - North Korea's most ubiquitous slogan, seen in posters and beaming from neon signs from atop tall buildings, is "Single-minded Unity".

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