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    No Need for the Alarm: Former Russian Envoy to South Korea on Trump-Kim Meeting

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    Alexander Nikolaevich Panov, Russian senior diplomat and a former ambassador to South Korea, shared his views with Sputnik on the future of a possible Donald Trump/Kim Jong-Un summit.

    "There is no need to ring an alarm," Panov, a former Russian ambassador to Japan, South Korea and Norway, said, speaking with Sputnik. "Kim [Jong-Un] totally beat Trump, he won this round. Now it's Trump's turn. He will have to crawl out of this situation somehow."

    When asked whether a meeting is possible, the former ambassador noted that currently, there is no certainty, and detailed the reasons for his assertion.

    ​"In the future, there will be peace in the whole world… But when this will happen, no one can tell. So, whether the meeting will happen or not — it's hard to predict right now," he said.

    "Now, the terms of the meeting are changing, and it's hard to predict how [the sides] will come to terms. In any case, time plays in favor of North Korea, so they won't hurry," he explained.

    Notably, Trump told reporters on May 25 that the meeting might take place, possibly on June 12th, as was planned earlier.

    "We're going to see what happens. We're talking to them right now. It could even be the 12th […] We want to do it," Trump told reporters.

    In this image taken from video provided by Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) Friday, April 27, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walk together as Kim crossed the border into South Korea for their historic face-to-face talks, in Panmunjom.
    © AP Photo / Korea Broadcasting System
    Panov explained why Trump decided to opt out of the summit after the DPRK Punggye-ri nuclear test site was deactivated.

    "[Trump], of course, understood that he has nothing in his hand to go to the summit with. Kim Jong-Un's position is much stronger now. [Kim] let the Americans in, blew up those silos. What can Trump bring in response? It's clear that nobody will support him besides himself," Panov elaborated.

    "Therefore, Trump got scared: he has nothing to go [to North Korea] with, and he cannot fail his policy as an ambitious man," Panov remarked. "He [Trump] tried to cover his defeat with a non-comprehensive statement. I think North Koreans follow a smart and calculating policy."

    Commenting on the inter-Korean summit being cancelled earlier, Panov said it has to do with South Korea.

    "I think the summit was canceled because the North Koreans want the South to press Trump stronger, because, in the end, it's the South that suffers, it's [South Korea's] president, especially ahead of 2018 local election."

    "Therefore, of course, I expect that in the future, not too distant, this dialogue between the north and the south will be reinstated, but again, naturally, the North's position will be more favorable than the South's."

    The two peninsula leaders met on May 26, according to South Korea's presidential office, just as this interview was recorded. As Sputnik reported, the office stated that the two leaders met to discuss a possible meeting between Kim and Trump.

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    Tags:
    meeting, talks, Alexander Panov, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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