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US and North Korea are in talks to hold a third nuclear summit

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Officials from North Korea and the United States are holding “informal” talks to hold a third nuclear summit in the future, South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in said Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Moon said that officials are engaged in unofficial “behind-the-scenes” talks, and they haven’t determined when the proposed third summit would take place.

The Trump administration has held two summits with North Korea in the past year, the first in Singapore in June 2018 and another in Hanoi this past February, neither of which were able to produce a concrete de-nuclearization deal.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to travel to Seoul, South Korea on Saturday after he attends the G-20 summit in Japan, which could present an opportunity for American and North Korean officials to set plans for a third summit.

At the last two summits, American officials were unable to secure a concrete de-nuclearization commitment or timeline from North Korean officials, who wanted US sanctions on the country to be lifted alongside measures to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities, The Journal said.

Under the Trump administration, the US has pursued far friendlier relations with North Korea than other nations, with Trump going as far as to frequently praise North Korea’s dictatorial leader Kim Jong Un, even as North Korea has conducted new weapons tests.

Read more: Trump says he ‘smiled’ when Kim Jong Un insulted Joe Biden, wasn’t ‘disturbed’ by North Korean missile tests even though his advisers were

“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse,” Trump tweeted on May 25 in a reference the Democratic presidential candidate. “Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

When it was later reported that Kim Jong-un’s late half-brother worked as a CIA informant, Trump seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t allow any more North Koreans to work as informants, telling reporters, “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspice, that’s for sure.”

As North Korea’s economic situation becomes more dire thanks to punishing international sanctions, they may have more incentives to scale back their nuclear activities and weapons tests, a former South Korean diplomat told The Journal.

On June 22, North Korean state media reported that Trump sent Kim an “excellent” letter with “interesting content” after Chinese president Xi Jingping traveled to North Korea for a historic meeting with Kim in mid-June, and about a month after Trump reported recieving a “beautiful” letter from Kim.

Read more:

North Korea says Trump wrote Kim Jong Un an ‘excellent’ letter

Kim Jong Un welcomed Xi Jinping to North Korea with a vibrant parade featuring acrobats, fireworks, and a giant banner bearing the Chinese leader’s face

How North Korean leader Kim Jong Un became one of the world’s most feared dictators

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