by WorldTribune Staff, March 12, 2018
While the proposed meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been the subject of banner headlines worldwide, it has garnered no official media coverage in the reclusive North.
North Korea has yet to issue any official response to Kim Jong-Un’s agreement to hold a summit with South Korea in late April and a rare meeting with Trump by May.
The Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan, reported the planned inter-Korean summit on March 10 but had deleted the report a day later. The paper is not part of North Korea’s official media, but it serves as a mouthpiece for Pyongyang.
“North Korea seems to need more time and is taking a cautious approach in setting its stance (over the envisioned summits with the South and the U.S.),” Baik Tae-Hyun, a spokesman at Seoul’s unification ministry, told a press briefing.
Baik said the two Koreas have yet to start working-level consultations on the April summit. If held, it would be the third summit between the two Koreas, following those in 2000 and 2007.
The meeting between Trump and Kim would be the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with North Korea’s leader since the Korean War.
The South is also taking a wait-and-see approach to the possibility of local businessmen visiting a now-shuttered industrial complex in the North’s border city of Kaesong.
“The North has yet to take the necessary actions to facilitate such a trip,” Yonhap reported on March 12.
“The government shared the need raised by firms to inspect factories at the complex. But the North has yet to give a response, even though there are necessary steps, such as North Korea’s sending of an invitation for the trip to the North,” Baik said.
“So if the current situation proceeds this way, the government is likely to withhold (approval for) their trip as it did last time.”
The Park Geun-Hye government in Seoul shut down the factory zone in February 2016 in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.