January 23, 2019 / 3:07 PM / 3 months ago

DAVOS-UPDATE 1-Next U.S.-N.Korea summit must give concrete results - Seoul

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By Soyoung Kim and Alessandra Galloni

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 23 (Reuters) - A planned second summit next month between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un must “deliver concrete results on denuclearisation”, South Korea’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the two leaders should make “really great big strides” on the road to denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, in line with international demands.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore last June for an unprecedented summit, producing a promise to work towards “complete denuclearisation” of the peninsula, but the two sides have since struggled to agree how to implement the pledge.

Critics of U.S. efforts say that summit only boosted Kim’s international stature while doing little to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal that now threatens the United States.

After Trump met Pyongyang’s top nuclear negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, in Washington on Friday, the White House announced that the second summit would take place in late February.

The two sides have given no sign of having narrowed their differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons programme and Pyongyang’s demands for a lifting of economic sanctions and a formal end to the Korean War.

North and South Korea are still technically at war, given the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The North Korean envoy’s recent visit to Washington has put nuclear talks “back on track”, Kang said in Davos. Details of the second summit would continue to be negotiated despite a partial government shutdown in Washington, he added. (Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Alessandra Galloni in DAVOS, Switzerland Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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