As three-day working-level talks between U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and former North Korean Ambassador to Spain Kim Hyok Chol have been concluded in Pyongyang on Friday ahead of the second Washington-Pyongyang summit, agenda for a "Vietnam nuclear deal" is gradually surfacing.
As Washington and Pyongyang are in the course of coordinating a draft agreement that is closer to a big deal than previously known, the U.S. is reportedly more seriously considering the declaration of the end of the Korean War as a bargaining chip of incentive to convince the North to take denuclearization measures, which is drawing keen attention.
When asked if he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month, U.S. President Donald Trump ruled out the possibility by saying “no” in a White House press briefing on Thursday. The U.S. president thus reversed his Tuesday statement that he would meet with President Xi late this month. He apparently suggests that he will focus on denuclearization talks with Pyongyang for now rather than trade talks with Beijing, and that he will focus on the declaration of the end of the Korean War through a Washington-Pyongyang agreement, rather than declaration by four parties involving South Korea and China.
In the meantime, Mr. Biegun has been emphasizing "simultaneous and parallel" measure anew to stress that if Pyongyang is to gain corresponding measures, it should start denuclearization process first. “Our goal is the same, as announced at the first Singapore summit, and that is the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, and we are very much focused on that,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told a news briefing on Thursday.
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