Trump says Kim Jong Un has been 'open' and 'honorable' so far

Pope Francis says 'two Koreas' summit good chance for dialogue

Ahead of summit, Pope Francis urges Koreas to have 'courage' for peace

Moon, a liberal who cut his political teeth as a lead architect of a previous government's "sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea, came into office a year ago hoping for better ties with the North. The problem is that we are going to be pressured by the world's leading Neville Chamberlains to strike an unverfiable deal that will guarantee North Korea has the ability to strike the United States with nuclear-armed missiles, an untenable and unacceptable situation.

The Olympic Games in the South Korean mountain resort of Pyeongchang in February provided the ideal backdrop for that diplomacy to flourish.

While Kim may not be able to control every aspect of what happens on the South Korean side of the DMZ, Seoul seems eager to make sure things go smoothly, even preparing a banquet that includes dishes from Switzerland, where Kim studied during his teens. He also reportedly offered to meet with Trump and stop weapons testing as the diplomacy plays out.

Francis visited South Korea in 2014, the first country in Asia he visited upon appointment.

The short answer: Someplace where Kim won't feel entirely comfortable.

In 2005, North Korea agreed as part of the "Six-Party Talks" to abandon its nuclear programs and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but Pyongyang launched its first nuclear test a year later.

Official dialogue between Kim and Moon will begin at 10:30 AM at the Peace House in Panmunjom, an hour after Kim is scheduled the cross the border at 9:30 AM.

KCNA ran a similar personal apology from Kim on Tuesday after the North Korean leader visited survivors in hospital and called on the Chinese embassy.

That is according to remarks from an unnamed South Korean presidential official quoted by Reuters.

Here's where it gets complicated.

But as Moon moves to secure a deal to establish permanent peace on the peninsula, he is also wary of repeating past mistakes of his two liberal predecessors who held meetings with the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.

The islands are now controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Tokyo. In short, a bloody nose strike would risk allowing North Korea to retaliate against the United States or its allies with any number of military options, not excluding its nuclear arsenal. Eliminating the nuclear threat and achieving stability and security on the Korean Peninsula will require unconventional thinking and steps that are much broader than denuclearization.

The shock announcement comes after the former hermit state has offered an olive branch to South Korea and the U.S. after more than 50 years of bitter relations. Kim's profile of leadership by control is matched well to that of Trump's style.

In Seoul, office worker Suji Lee, 31, said unification would only bring about economic havoc in the South and suggested the two Koreas would be better off as separate countries. Some 90% of North Korea's trade passes through China. In testimony last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Harris said that the US could not be "overly optimistic" about outcomes for the planned Trump-Kim summit.

Ralph Cossa, a Koreas expert and president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank, is skeptical of any real breakthrough. Unless you want your children and grandchildren living with the possibility that Kim Jong-un can decide their fate. What interim concessions would he be willing to make in order to preserve Mr. Kim's easily reversed testing freeze?

Kim is slated to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday and potentially with President Donald Trump in the near future.

Latest News