POST TIME: 25 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Donald Trump to visit Seoul after letters with Kim
AFP, Seoul

Donald Trump 
to visit Seoul after letters with Kim

US President Donald Trump will visit South Korea at the weekend after the G20 summit to discuss deadlocked nuclear talks with the North with President Moon Jae-in, Seoul’s presidential office said yesterday.

Trump will fly to the South Korean capital on Saturday after attending the G20 summit in Japan, officials said, prompting speculation he could try to visit the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula.

The visit comes after Trump exchanged letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who said the US president’s letter to him had “excellent content”, according to the North’s state-run media Sunday.

Trump received a missive from Kim earlier this month and called it a “beautiful letter”.

The letter exchange comes after their second summit in Hanoi in February ended without an agreement—on sanctions relief and what the North might give up in return—and since then the negotiation process has stalled, with minimal contact.

Kim last week hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for two days of fanfare in Pyongyang—the first visit by a Chinese president in 14 years—showcasing a decades-old alliance they called “invincible” and “forged in blood”.

Analysts say Xi’s meeting with Kim—ahead of talks with Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit—is intended to demonstrate and reinforce Beijing’s influence in the North, which is heavily reliant economically on its neighbour.

Ko Min-jung, spokeswoman for the South’s presidential Blue House, said Moon and Trump “will have an in-depth discussion exploring ways to establish a permanent peace regime through complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.