Trump and Kim: From insults to two summits - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 25 February 2019

Trump and Kim: From insults to two summits

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un

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From mutual threats and insults to a second summit in Hanoi, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have had a turbulent relationship.
Here is a look back at the two-year diplomatic roller coaster:
Weeks before taking office, Trump vows on January 2, 2017 that North Korea will never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching US territory.
But Pyongyang in July conducts two intercontinental ballistic missile tests that Kim says "confirmed all the US mainland is within our striking range".
Trump warns of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if Pyongyang threatens America.
Undeterred, Pyongyang in September carries out its sixth nuclear test.
In his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2017, Trump nicknames Kim a "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission". He warns that if threatened, the United States will have "no choice but to totally destroy North Korea".
Kim brands Trump "mentally deranged".
Pyongyang conducts a new intercontinental ballistic missile test in November, with Trump later calling Kim a "sick puppy".
Three days into 2018, Trump retorts that his "nuclear button" is "much bigger and more powerful" than Kim's.
In September 2017 Trump accuses Pyongyang of having tortured American student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea for 18 months and died after being repatriated.
Washington issues a travel ban, since eased, and puts Pyongyang back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
In December 2018 a US judge orders North Korea to pay $501 million over Warmbier's death.
At the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February 2018, the two Koreas -- technically still at war after a 1953 armistice -- march together for the opening ceremony.
The South's President Moon Jae-in and Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong shake hands, ushering in a spectacular Korean detente that sees three inter-Korean summits in five months.
Trump's daughter Ivanka attends events with officials from both sides.
In March 2018 Trump accepts, to general surprise, an invitation transmitted by South Korea to meet Kim.
CIA chief Mike Pompeo travels secretly to Pyongyang to meet Kim and lay the groundwork for a summit. In May, as secretary of state, he makes a second trip, returning with three US citizens detained by Pyongyang.
The summit is set for June 12, but three weeks before it is cancelled by Trump who cites "open hostility" from the North. After days of intense diplomatic activity, it is back on.
When the two leaders finally meet, their handshake is broadcast live around the world. Kim speaks of an "historic summit", while Trump says it was a "fantastic meeting".
In the summit statement, Kim agrees to "work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula". Trump pledges "security guarantees".
But the statement is vaguely worded and progress soon stalls amid disagreement over what it means. North Korea takes few concrete steps to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
After Washington imposes sanctions on three North Korean officials over rights abuses in December 2018, Pyongyang says the move could "block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula forever".
Expectations of a second summit start building in January when Kim visits Beijing, his main diplomatic ally.
It is confirmed on January 19, following a meeting between a North Korean general and Trump, who later announces the venue as Hanoi and the dates as February 27 and 28.
"I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim and advancing the cause of peace!" Trump says.

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