Trump schedules meeting with South Korean leader next month

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in have scheduled a meeting in Washington next month as Trump’s relationship with North Korea wavers.

President Moon, and first lady Kim Jung-sook, will travel to the White House for talks on April 11.

The White House released the news in a statement late Thursday, but were unspecific in mentioning what the two leaders would be discussing besides “the latest developments regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as bilateral matters.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea, continues to be a thorn in Trump’s side — even more so after a failed summit in Vietnam last month.

South Korea’s presidential office, The Blue House, put out a similar statement, courtesy of Chief Presidential Secretary Yoon Do-han. Moon will travel to the U.S. from April 10 to 11.

“The two leaders are planning to make in-depth discussions on how to cooperate with each other to further strengthen the ROK-US alliance and build a peace regime in the Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization,” according to a statement translated by ABC News.

Moon last visited the White House in May 2018.

Trump caused confusion earlier this week when the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against North Korea, only to have the president tweet he was cancelling the sanctions. The tweet was sent without consulting any of his staff, sources told ABC News, who were then left to scramble to explain the unexpected contradiction.

Staff walked back the talk of removing the sanctions, convincing Trump they were necessary.

Trump abruptly cut short his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in February over Kim’s insistence that the U.S. relax some sanctions before full dismantlement of the country’s nuclear program.

Trump nonetheless downplayed any thought of a falling out with the North Korean leader, who Trump has repeatedly praised since the two met last year in Singapore.

“You always have to be prepared to walk,” Trump said at a press conference last month. “I could have 100 percent signed something today. We actually had papers ready to be signed, but it was not appropriate. I would rather do it right. I would rather do it right than fast.”

Trump and National Security Adviser John Bolton have been noncommittal about recent activity at North Korean nuclear facilities.

Satellite images taken on March 2 acquired by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Beyond Parallel, showed new activity at the Sohae (Tongchang-ri) launch facility located in the northwestern part of North Korea. The images showed what appears to be rapid rebuilding at a site that has been inactive since last August.

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