Meanwhile, North Korea has historic shake-up of government and Kim takes title, “Supreme Representative of All the Korean People”
Given all the focus on President Donald Trump’s brilliant tweets about sending illegal immigrants directly to sanctuary states and cities, it may have been easy to miss an intriguing update to another long-term project POTUS has been working on: Denuclearizing North Korea.
The president hinted at a potential third summit in a recent social media message:
“I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand,” Trump wrote online just before 8 a.m. in Washington.
“North Korea has tremendous potential for… extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim,” the president continued. “I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!”
Indications are that Kim is open to another summit.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s “Dear Leader” has shaken up his entire government and now has a fascinating, new title.
In an expected move, Kim was re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission at a session of North Korea’s rubber-stamp legislature that took place on Thursday, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
For the first time, however, state media referred to Kim as “supreme representative of all the Korean people”. That title was approved by special decree in February, according to the Associated Press, but has not been used publicly until Friday.
Kim vows to land ‘telling blow’ against countries imposing sanctions
It’s unclear whether the changes will be codified in the constitution, but analysts said the shake-up shows Kim has fully come into his own, eight years after he inherited rule from his father, Kim Jong-il.
“The transition and power consolidation of the Kim Jong-un regime is complete,” said Michael Madden, a non-resident North Korea leadership expert with the Stimson Centre, a Washington-based think tank.
“This is probably the largest party-government shake-up in many years,” he said.
Whether the title is hinting at eventual re-unification with South Korea (i.e., Kim preparing his people for such a transition) or is based on delusions of grandeur remain to be seen.
President Moon Jae-in recently met with Trump in Washington, D.C., returning to Seoul amid speculation that he may send a special envoy to North Korea soon to help arrange further talks between Kim and Trump.
While the special envoys focused on preparations for the inter-Korean summits this year, their priority this time will be bridging the gap between Trump and Kim and helping the two sides resume negotiations.
The analysts speculated as to whether Moon’s proposal of a “good enough deal,” which goes between Trump’s “big deal” and Kim’s “small deal,” can be discussed.
They pointed out that unpredictable Trump, after stressing the “big deal” and sticking to sanctions, told Moon at one point that various smaller deals may still happen.
The “good enough deal” involves the U.S. and North Korea committing to a comprehensive agreement on peace, denuclearization and new relations.
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