Trump wants Kim to know he likes him and will fulfill his wishes, South Korean leader says

UNTV News   •   December 3, 2018   •   2241

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) – Donald Trump wants North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to know that he likes him and will fulfill his wishes, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday, a day after meeting the U.S. president at an economic summit in Argentina.

Moon, who is hoping to host Kim soon on the first ever trip to Seoul by a North Korean leader as agreed earlier this year, said Trump had asked him to pass on a message.

“The message is that President Trump has very favorable views toward Chairman Kim and he likes him,” Moon told reporters aboard a flight from Argentina to New Zealand, where he started a three-day state visit on Sunday.

“As such, he asked me to tell Chairman Kim that he wants to implement the rest of their agreement together and he will fulfill Chairman Kim’s wishes.”

Trump, who met Kim in Singapore in June, said on Saturday that he is likely to meet the North Korean leader for a second time in January or February, with three sites for their meeting under consideration.

“We’re getting along very well. We have a good relationship,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his return from the G20 summit. Trump added that at some point he will invite Kim to the United States.

Kim and Trump pledged at their first meeting to work towards denuclearisation, although the two sides have since made little progress agreeing on a timeline or concrete steps.

The White House said in a statement on Saturday after Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that they and Kim will strive “to see a nuclear free Korean Peninsula”. The statement said Xi and Trump “agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea.”

Trump has frequently described a warm personal relationship with Kim, arguing that this rapport would help him succeed at a diplomatic breakthrough that has eluded U.S. presidents since the 1950s.

In September Trump drew applause from a crowd of supporters at a campaign rally by describing “beautiful” letters he had exchanged with Kim, saying: “We fell in love, ok?”

Trump’s critics say such warm words have so far failed to yield concrete concessions from one of the world’s most authoritarian states.

Trump’s latest praise for Kim, in the formal setting of a summit with Moon, shows that he is still emphasizing his personal rapport despite stalled nuclear talks.

Moon said a second summit between Kim and Trump will prove to be the “most critical moment” for North Korea’s denuclearisation.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Peter Graff

South Korean president warns of epidemic second wave

UNTV News   •   May 10, 2020

South Korean President Moon Jae-In

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday (May 10) warned of a second wave of the epidemic later this year, saying the recent cluster underscored the risks that the virus which causes COVID-19 can spread widely again at any time.

“It’s not over until it’s over. While keeping enhanced alertness till the end, we must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention,” he said in a televised speech marking the third anniversary of his inauguration.

South Korea reported 34 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest daily number in a month, after a small outbreak emerged around a slew of nightclubs that a confirmed patient had visited.

Of the new cases, 26 were domestically transmitted infections and eight were imported cases, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

As part of a long-term battle on COVID-19, the KCDC will be given greater power and will be renamed the Disease Control and Prevention Administration, Moon said. Local governments will set up their own epidemic response systems with more experts.

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

South Korean officials call for caution amid reports that North Korean leader is ill

UNTV News   •   April 27, 2020

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un (C), chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, inspecting the defence detachment on Changrin Islet, North Korea (issued 25 November 2019).

South Korean officials are calling for caution amid reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be ill, emphasizing that they have detected no unusual movements in North Korea.

A spokeswoman for the Unification Ministry said on Monday (April 27) she had nothing to confirm when asked about reports that Kim was in Wonsan.

South Korea’s defence ministry spokeswoman said on Monday that the military hotline is operating normally and there’s no more to say, when she asked about whether they discussed the recent issue with North Korea.

Rumours and speculation over the North Korean leader’s health began after he made no public appearance at a key state holiday on April 15 and has since remained out of sight.

South Korea media last week reported that Kim may have undergone cardiovascular surgery or was in isolation to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus. (Reuters)

(Production: Daewoung Kim, Hyunyoung Yi)

Questions hang over North Korea succession amid reports on Kim health

UNTV News   •   April 22, 2020

North Korea has never publicized who would follow leader Kim Jong Un in the event he is incapacitated, and with no details known about his young children, analysts say his sister and loyalists could form a regency until a successor is old enough to take over.

South Korean and Chinese officials on Tuesday (April 21) cast doubt on reports that Kim was gravely ill following a cardiovascular procedure, after his absence from a key state anniversary event triggered speculation about his health.

But the media reports sparked questions about who would be in place to take over if the 36-year-old Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader, fell seriously ill or died. He became leader when his father Kim Jong Il died in 2011 from a heart attack.

The following are key figures in the North Korean leadership circle and what role they may play in any future transition.

Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s younger sister has been the most visible presence around the leader in the past two years, while serving formally as a vice director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee but unofficially as her brother’s chief of staff.

She was named an alternate member of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee Politburo earlier this month, continuing her climb through the leadership hierarchy.

Kim, who is believed to be 31, has a firm control of key party functions, setting herself to be the main source of power behind a collective leadership.

Choe Ryong Hae rose to be the North’s nominal head of state last year becoming the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

It capped decades of service with the party for the ruling Kim family, previously serving as the influential political head of the North’s military under the young leader.

He and Pak Pong Ju, a fellow politburo member and former state premier who oversaw the North’s push to introduce more free market functions to revive its economy, are likely to be the figureheads leading a collective leadership.

Kim Kyong Hui was once a powerful figure in the leadership circle when her brother Kim Jong Il ruled the country. She had not been seen since her husband, Jang Song Thaek, once regarded as the second most powerful man in the country, was executed in 2013 by Kim Jong Un. She has long been ill but briefly appeared early this year at a gala performance alongside her nephew.

Kim Han Sol, the 24-year-old son of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un who was murdered by North Korean agents in 2017, is expected to remain in exile.

Kim Jong Un is believed to have three children with Ri Sol Ju, the youngest born in 2017, according to the South’s National Intelligence Service.

The oldest is a 10-year-old son, meaning any of the three would need the assistance of their relatives or political guardians if they were to become a fourth-generation hereditary leader.

Kim Jong Il had been groomed for 20 years to lead the country, while Kim Jong Un only had just over a year due to his father’s sudden death from a stroke. (Reuters)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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