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North Korea’s neighbours, Trump hail historic summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone on Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone on Friday.   | Photo Credit: AP

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Abe says Japan not sidelined in denuclearisation process

North Korea's neighbours and U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Friday's historic inter-Korean summit, with Beijing and Tokyo urging both sides to maintain the momentum that has seen a dramatic easing of tension on the peninsula.

At the first summit between the Koreas in more than a decade, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, pledged to work for the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

 

The two sides said they would work with the United States and China to declare an official end to the 1950-1953 Korean War and seek an agreement to establish “permanent” and “solid” peace in place of an armistice.

In early tweets from Washington, Mr. Trump praised the meeting even as he raised questions about how long the positive diplomacy would last.

“Good things are happening, but only time will tell!,” he tweeted, adding in another: “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

China, North Korea’s main ally and wary of being sidelined amid the thaw between the rival Koreas and upcoming summit between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim, said it was willing to continue playing a role in resolving the decades-long standoff between the rival Koreas over the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

Mr. Kim made a dramatic surprise visit last month to Beijing, where he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

China “hopes all relevant sides can maintain the momentum for dialogue and work together to promote the denuclearisation of the peninsula and the process for the political settlement of the peninsula issue,” China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“China is willing to continue playing a proactive role in this regard,” it added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he “strongly” hoped Pyongyang would take concrete steps to carry out its promises to pursue denuclearisation.

“I will keep a close watch on North Korea's future conduct,” Mr. Abe told reporters.

Asked if he was concerned that Japan might be left out of the denuclearisation process, Mr. Abe said, “Absolutely not. I talked with President Trump for more than 11 hours just a while ago and reached a complete agreement on our action, effort and basic policy.”

In Moscow, the Kremlin hailed the summit as very positive news and said President Vladimir Putin had long advocated direct talks between the two countries.

Asked about the prospect of Mr. Trump also meeting the North Korean leader, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Moscow welcomed any steps that would ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

China, Russia, Japan and the United States, along with the two Koreas, took part in on-off six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme. The talks stalled in 2008.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:54:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/north-koreas-neighbours-trump-hail-historic-summit/article23698253.ece

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