North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is expecting to hold a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump at the end of November or in December, South Korea's spy agency has learned. Pyongyang-Washington talks have been in a limbo ever since the 'break-up' in early October, even as the phlegmatic North Korean leader engages in provocative missile and weapons tests. President Trump met Kim Jong-Un for the first time at a historic summit in Singapore in 2018.
The historic meeting between Trump and Kim opened a new chapter in the saga of strained ties but the two sides have not able to capitalise on the momentum. The new round of talks could focus on denuclearization efforts, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing sources in the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Parliament member Lee Eun-jae, who sat in a closed-door parliamentary audit session, said the NIS officials "expected the working-level talks to resume no later than early December," the agency reported. "As the two sides identified each other's stance in their Stockholm talks in October, the time appears to be coming for them to launch full-fledged consultations," Lee said, the Japan Times reported. This was corroborated by another South Korea lawmakers, who also said the NIS "thinks Kim has set his mind on another summit in December."
North Korea's top negotiator Kim Myong Gil said early in October that the talks with the US failed due to Washington's outdated attitude and viewpoints. Meanwhile, last Thursday, North Korea successfully conducted the testing of its "super-large multiple rocket launcher" system, even as talks with the US remained in limbo. The two short-range projectiles, launched from South Pyongan province, flew approximately 370 kilometres, South Korea's military said, citing the reclusive state's official news agency.
Pyongyang, which is under heavy United Nations and US sanctions over its ballistic missile programme, still harbours fears over a possible US invasion. Missile and weapons testing are a means for North Korea to show that it's undaunted by the US firepower and diplomatic might. Pyongyang has said earlier it would launch an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) "anytime and anywhere" in response to the rising nuclear threat from the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said as early as in 2017 January that his country was close to test-launching an ICBM.
The Trump-Kim meetings haven't produced sustain results so far, thought they have kicked up huge global interest. There have been three high-profile meetings so far. The first was in Singapore in 2018, which broke new ground in the history of the fraught reactions between the two countries. The second meeting was in Vietnam in 2019 while the third took place in the Demilitarized Zone separating the south and north Koreas.
It's not clear if Donald Trump will be willing to meet Kim for a fourth time. If Trump turns down the offer, Kim's missile men would be back to work with added frenzy.