A ruling party lawmaker said Tuesday that the next summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to be held early next year in Singapore.
Rep. Lee Seok-hyun of the Democratic Party had predicted the surprise Trump-Kim meeting in Panmunjom on Sunday in a tweet the day before that said “a DMZ flash meeting will take place tomorrow afternoon.”
The six-term lawmaker who sits on the parliamentary foreign affairs and unification committee wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, “The timing of the fourth US-NK summit is likely to be early next year rather than this year. The venue can be neither Washington, DC nor Pyongyang.”
Lee considers the Trump-Kim meeting on Sunday as the third US-North Korea summit.
As for the outcome of the Panmunjom meeting, Lee said the US was “moving away from the rigidity of the ‘denuclearization first, then compensation’ logic and switching to a flexible negotiation of simultaneous action-for-action with North Korea.”
“This corresponds with President Trump’s negotiation record of pursuing a big deal amid a deadlock of no deals, and explains Chairman Kim’s grin just after the meeting,” Lee said, adding that he expects to see significant results through working-level talks.
However, Lee said that “rather than using his cards in a row,” Trump may hold a summit “in late January before beginning the campaign for the presidential election in November next year.”
Regarding the venue, Lee added that Kim had refused in a roundabout way by suggesting that Trump come to Pyongyang after the US president invited him to the White House.
“Trump won’t go to Pyongyang, so the venue of the fourth summit is highly likely to be Singapore again,” Lee said.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)