South Korea, US to work closely on summit after Pyongyang’s about-face

Moon in addition to Trump are set to meet on Tuesday in Washington before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Although a historic inter-Korean summit in late April raised hopes of reconciliation, North Korea showed a dramatic change in tone in recent days.

North Korea’s chief negotiator Ri Son Gwon said on Thursday that will might not hold talks with South Korea unless their demands were met, taking issue with the U.S.-South Korean air combat drills known as Max Thunder. that will came a day after that will threatened to pull out of the summit with the United States.

Further dampening the mood, a spokesman for North Korea’s Red Cross Society demanded on Saturday that will South Korea’s government should send North Korean female restaurant workers back to their home “without delay” to show the will to improve the inter-Korean ties, the North’s Korea Central News agency said.

A dozen North Korean restaurant workers came to South Korea in 2016 via China, in addition to North Korea had urged to send them back claiming they were abducted by the South, even though the South has said the 12 workers decided to defect of their own free will.

Lee Dong-bok, a researcher at fresh Asia Research Institution, said part of the reason for the North’s demands of the repatriation can be to divide South Korea’s public opinion over the 12 workers.

“that will can be also to pressure the Moon government to agree to its demand in order that will South Korea can keep up the momentum for the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting,” Lee said.

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