07/01/2019, 15.39
KOREA-USA
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Pyongyang rejoices at “amazing” meeting between Kim and Trump

For the first time, a US president set foot in North Korea.  Washington anticipates restart of denuclearization talks, stalled since February, in mid-July.  For Seoul, the peace process is at a "turning point".  Hopes for the families of the Japanese kidnapped by Pyongyang.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The North Korean state media are celebrating yesterday's (photo) meeting between leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald J. Trump in Panmunjom inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which for 66 years has divided the two Koreas, as "historic" and "amazing".

The reactions of Pyongyang are echoed by those of the main actors in the peace process of the Korean peninsula: Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. 

Meanwhile, analysts are divided: some argue that yesterday's events could revive nuclear talks, while for others the meeting is nothing more than "a drama for publicity purposes".

Kim accepted the invitation to meet in the DMZ that Trump had extended the day before, during a 48-hour visit to South Korea for talks with President Moon Jae-in.  Kim and Trump shook hands on the concrete blocks that divide the North and the South, before Trump took a few steps into North Korean territory, becoming the first US president to set foot there. 

Kim and Trump also held a brief interview with Moon, giving life to the first trilateral summit among the leaders.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - Pyongyang public news agency - reports today that the US president and Kim agree to "resume and carry out productive dialogues to take a new step forward in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula". 

"The top leaders of the DPRK and the US exchanging historic handshakes at Panmunjom" was an "amazing event", KCNA said, describing the truce village as a "place that had been known as the symbol of division".

A few hours after the pleasantries between Kim and Trump, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, told reporters that he expected the North Korean denuclearization talks to resume in mid-July. 

On table will be once again the dismantling of nuclear weapons and the regime's ballistic programs, in exchange for a loosening of the economic sanctions imposed by the international community.

Negotiations stopped last February, when the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi (Vietnam) ended without an agreement.  Pompeo said he was "enthusiastic" about the imminent return to the negotiating table.  " "We think we do have a jumping-off point for these discussions, which have put us in a place where we can truly evaluate if there is a clear path forward," he said. "I've been listening to Chairman Kim today. I think there is."

Even South Korea, engaged in the role of mediator between Washington and Pyongyang, expresses satisfaction with the new developments. 

The historic meeting held on the border between the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States will be a "turning point" in the nuclear talks and will help advance inter-Korean relations.  This was declared today by the Unification Ministry of Seoul.  Spokesman Lee Sang-min states: "After yesterday, talks on denuclearization between the North and the United States should accelerate.  Our government will continue to strive to maintain the momentum towards dialogue and strengthen a virtuous circle between inter-Korean links, denuclearization and US-North Korea relations ".

Another interested spectator of the progress in talks between Washington and Pyongyang is Japan.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe points out that Tokyo "has been supporting the process since the first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore (in June 2018).  We hope that yesterday's meeting will push him even further ”.  Meanwhile, relatives of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea state that the meeting between Trump and Kim has rekindled their hopes of solving the problem of their missing family members.

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