Trump urged to continue Korean de-escalation process

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Washington, March 7 (IANS) A leading US military academic has called on the Donald Trump Administration to step up and “keep the momentum going” with talks that could de-nuclearise the Korean Peninsula.

“This is a major breakthrough,” Lyle Goldstein of the US Naval War College told Xinhua on Tuesday as he mentioned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s pledge to immediately freeze missile and nuclear weapons testing during the proposed talks with the US and South Korea.

South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong hammered out the talks and a summit next month between the two Koreas during a four-hour dinner with Kim, his wife and other senior North Korean officials.

The top national security adviser for South Korean President Moon Jae-in led a 10-member special delegation to visit Pyongyang for two days from Monday.

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Both sides agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit talks in late April. The first and second inter-Korean summit meetings were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007 respectively.

Goldstein urged US officials to address North Korea’s “security needs”, not to exclude a “symbolic withdrawal of some US troops,” as a move that might bring both sides closer to detente.

“You must give in order to receive,” Goldstein said, citing the recent Iran talks failing because Tehran perceived it was getting nothing in return.

Goldstein also said the involvement of China and Russia might help the challenging negotiations that lie ahead, criticizing Japan’s seeming lack of interest.

South Korea and North Korea also agreed to set up a hotline between the leaders to ease military tensions and closely coordinate. The first talks through the hotline will be held before the summit scheduled for late April.

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