Kim Jong-un set the mood for 2019 by sending a letter on New Year to Donald Trump for a probable meeting to discuss burning issues like denuclearization and sanctions. The US President has responded by sending a return letter to the leader of North Korea in Pyongyang by flight and delivered by hand. It seems a senior rep from North Korea could be visiting Washington soon to work out modalities of the proposed summit.

US teams have already gone to a few cities to select the most suitable venue.

CNN reports Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, is in favor of another meeting between Trump and Kim. Moon goes on to add that if Kim comes to Seoul, it will pave the way for better relations "that will firmly solidify peace on the Korean Peninsula." From Kim’s recent travel schedules, it is evident that he is trying to come out of isolation.

North Korea is revising its strategies

2018 was a busy year for Kim Jong-un. He had the historic summit with Donald Trump in Singapore apart from meetings with Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Kim began 2019 by having another meeting with Xi Jinping and has plans to have a second summit with Trump. In the opinion of observers, the meeting with the Chinese President was to pass on a message to the world that Pyongyang is in search of partners beyond Seoul and Washington.

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Kim Jong-un had plans to visit Seoul in December, but it did not materialize and talks with the US on the process of denuclearization kept running into difficulties.

Moon Jae-in clarified that Kim had written to him in December giving reasons for his inability to visit and added that they should have more frequent meetings. South Korea's Blue House shared an extract of Kim’s letter with the media.

Second Trump-Kim summit

According to CNBC, the stage is set for high-level talks in Washington between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, a senior official of North Korea.

The purpose is to fine-tune the respective frequencies. There are possibilities that the North Korean official could meet President Donald Trump. However, there is no confirmation on this from the State Department or the White House. Incidentally, Pompeo undertook a number of trips to Pyongyang last year, but a meeting in November between him and Kim did not happen. It was supposed to have been to draw up plans for the second summit.

2018 was a quiet year with Kim suppressing the displays of his nuclear arsenal. Obviously, sanctions were hurting his country’s economy and all eyes will now be on the second Trump-Kim summit.

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