from the what-a-difference-a-few-weeks-make dept.
Two bits of news from Asia, widely covered elsewhere. However, are we beginning to see a peace dividend as a result of the thawing in relationships between North and South Korea?
American prisoners held in North Korea on their way home after Pompeo visit, Trump says
"Three American prisoners held in North Korea have been released and are en route to the U.S. after a surprise diplomatic mission by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President Trump announced Wednesday. " foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/09/american-prisoners-held-in-north-korea-on-their-way-home-after-pompeo-visit-trump-says.html
[Ed Note: They should be back in the US by now although I have not seen any direct reporting of this at the time of editing this story. Anyway, welcome back guys!]
China, Japan, South Korea open three-way summit
"China, South Korea and Japan have begun their first trilateral summit in more than two years.
[...] They are expected to take up the recent flurry of developments on the Korean peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Moon on April 27 and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week.
Abe said he hopes North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons in a complete and irreversible way.
Li said China is willing to work with Japan and South Korea to maintain regional stability.
The three-way summit is supposed to happen annually, but hasn't been held since November 2015 because of tense relations between Japan and China." foxnews.com/world/2018/05/08/latest-china-japan-south-korea-open-three-way-summit.html
A senior North Korean official warned Wednesday that Pyongyang may cancel its summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, if it is going to be pushed into giving up its nuclear arsenal.
If the Trump administration pressures Pyongyang to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons, North Korea would have to reconsider the summit, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
[...] The news came hours after the North canceled a high-level meeting with South Korean officials that was scheduled for Wednesday, citing a joint military exercise as the reason. In its earlier statement, KCNA claimed that the U.S. and South Korea's joint air drill, which began on Friday, was "a bid to make a preemptive airstrike at the DPRK and win the air."
- North Korea's Warning to U.S. Throws Trump Summit Into Doubt
- North Korea-US talks: Kim is in this for economic guarantees
- Why Negotiating With North Korea Was Never Going to Be Easy
- Frida Ghitis: North Korea is testing Trump
- For Pentagon, South Korea drills became a crucial but quiet endeavor
- North Korea Surprises Trump Administration by Acting Like North Korea Again
- How rival agendas threaten Trump's summit with Kim
- North Korea is dismantling its nuclear site, but is it abandoning its arsenal or hiding evidence?
Previously: Peace Dividend?