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Moon, Trump meet in wake of North Korea summit failure

AFP  |  Washington 

South Korean meets with at the on Thursday to try and find a path forward from the debris of a failed nuclear summit between the US and North Korean leader

Both Trump and Moon are heavily invested in bringing North out of the cold but the unsuccessful summit in at the end of February was a setback for the two allies that has yet to be resolved.

Trump will give Moon and his wife the red carpet treatment at the before talks in the Oval Office.

Although trade and the role of the huge US troop presence in South are hot topics, North dominates.

"The two leaders will have in-depth talks ... to coordinate their stance on setting up a peace regime on the through complete denuclearisation," Yoon Do-han, the senior South Korean said ahead of the visit.

Trump has emerged as an unlikely peacemaker in the Korean peninsula, reversing his initially bellicose approach with a determined effort to put and on a historic path to reconciliation.

But if an initial meeting between Trump and Kim in last year broke the ice, the follow up in ended with no progress on US demands for to start dismantling its nuclear weapons program or North Korea's desire to see an easing of international sanctions.

The two leaders cut their talks short, skipping a scheduled final lunch and the expected issuing of a joint statement.

In Washington, the outcome brought Trump praise from Republican legislators who'd worried he would give too much away in pursuit of big headlines.

Trump continues to face criticism that he is out of his depth in talks with Kim and that sitting down with the dictator has yet to bring much benefit.

But he insists that while he retains an unusually good personal relationship with Kim, he will maintain a tough negotiating line.

"Sometimes you have to walk," Trump said, slipping into his real estate dealer's lingo, after the meeting.

For Moon, the aftermath has been even more complicated.

He has staked his presidency on engagement with isolated North Korea, pushing for a resumption of South Korean tourism to the North's and operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where companies from the South used to be staffed by workers from the North.

But Moon's plan to unveil details of such projects on March 1, right after the Hanoi summit, was scrapped and he is under pressure from opponents on the right.

One lawmaker branded him the North Korean's "top "

Kim himself has used the impasse to speak out against international sanctions and warn in colourful, defiant terms that his country will not bow to pressure.

The socialist economy will "deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring the DPRK to its knees," a quoted him as saying on Thursday, using the acronym for the North's official name.

Shortly after the Hanoi summit, a series of emerged suggesting increased activity at the North's Sohae rocket site, triggering international alarm that the nuclear-armed state might be preparing a long-range or space launch.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 21:35 IST