Denuclearization, US troop withdrawal key to peace on Korean peninsula
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the meeting between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to contribute to ending tensions on the Korean peninsula, which at the same time also means the US must withdraw its forces from South Korea.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 24th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, Kalla said denuclearization and the withdrawal of US troops from the Korea peninsula was necessary to realize peace.
Kalla was certain these topics would be raised at the summit.
“The meeting [and] its outcome is indeed important to maintaining peace in East Asia," Kalla said in Tokyo on Tuesday. "We hope that [the meeting] is successful. If so, it can be a reference to [settle] conflict in other countries."
(Read also: SE Asia looks on with promise as Trump, Kim meet)
At the Singapore meeting, the US sought the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, while Pyongyang was reportedly seeking security guarantees for its regime in return.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was attending the same event in Tokyo, said countries in the region should make the best of Pyongyang's change of tack from a belligerent country that did not care for other nations.
"Now that he [Kim] has made this kind of effort, we shouldn’t be cynical. We should take advantage of this new attitude,” Mahathir said after delivering the keynote address at the conference, as quoted by The Star. (ebf)
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