05/30/2018, 18.28
KOREA – UNITED STATES
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To achieve peace in Korea ‘We must look with the eyes of the other,‘ says Mgr Lazarus You

The pope’s message “gave great joy and strength to the Korean people, not only to Christians, but to everyone,” says Mgr You. Kim Yong-chol is in New York to meet with Pompeo, whilst officials from North Korea and the US are meeting in Singapore and Panmunjom. A summit between North Korea, China and Russia might take place. Officials from the two Koreas will meet on 1 June. For Nuclear expert, denuclearisation will take up to 15 years.

Daejeon (AsiaNews) - "America wants North Korea to eliminate all nuclear weapons; North Korea wants the ultimate guarantee of its security, but we must walk together. It takes dialogue, negotiations, patience. We must look with the eyes of the other. Only this way can we understand better," said Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon, speaking about reinstated talks between North Korea and the United States.

"When I heard that Trump had cancelled the summit, I cried. I felt that hope for a new beginning for peace in Korea was going away," Mgr You noted. "Then, two days later, the meeting between Moon and Kim gave me immense joy.”

For the prelate, this “was a particularly important meeting, because unlike the previous three meetings between the leaders of the North and the South, this time, the two leaders met without a complicated and long process of preparation. Instead, it was a spontaneous meeting just like one has among brothers of one family.”

"Thus, they gave the world a new signal of the sincere fraternity of the Korean people, as well as the indomitable will for peace! There can be no sensitive and complicated problems after about 70 years of separation, marked by mutual hostility.”

“We might always find ways to solve issues in this top-down manner between the two Korean leaders and promote talks between various political and charitable organisations between the two parties. In this process, the collaboration of China and the United States is also needed."

"Last Sunday, the day of the Most Holy Trinity, the new apostolic nuncio, Mgr Alfred Xuereb, arrived in Korea with a message to the Korean people from the pope. The pontiff is praying. He wants reconciliation through dialogue, [he wants] other countries to help find peace in Korea. This gave great joy and strength to the Korean people, not only to Christians, but to everyone."

Meanwhile, after an apparent end of talks and the possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Northern leader Kim Jong-un, diplomats are back to work.

In the next few days, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet Kim Yong-chol, former director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea’s main intelligence service, currently vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

A controversial figure, Kim is suspected of playing role in the sinking of the South Korean Navy ship Cheonan. Currently, he is playing a leading role in talks with South Korea and the United States. He was a member of the delegation that accompanied Kim Jong-un during the first summit with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in and was the only North Korean official to accompany Kim Jong-un in last Saturday’s meeting with the South Korean president.

At present the US Ambassador to the Philippines (and former ambassador to South Korea), Sung Kim, is drafting the agenda for the upcoming summit together with North Korean officials. In Singapore, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagen is discussing logistical issues.

Talks about the future of the Korean Peninsula are also taking place elsewhere. According to some media reports, the leaders of North Korea, China and Russia might be meeting shortly.

This would be the third meeting between Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping in the past few weeks. Furthermore, on Friday, the two Koreas are scheduled to hold another high-level summit.

Central to the debate is the denuclearisation of North Korea, which the US insist must be "complete, verifiable and irreversible".

President Trump said he hoped to see this happen as soon as possible, but for the experts this is not feasible.

Siegfried Hecker, a world-renowned nuclear physicist, published a report two days ago in collaboration with Robert Carlin and Elliot Serbin of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). For the authors, the process of denuclearisation of North Korea could take up to 15 years.

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