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(US-NK summit) S. Korea says any progress at Trump-Kim summit will be significant

All Headlines 15:49 February 27, 2019

By Byun Duk-kun

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- Whatever concessions U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may make at their upcoming summit will be significant as they will mean further progress toward the complete denuclearization of the North, a spokesman for Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

"As the old saying goes, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first single step, each step and every step is important to travel 1,000 miles," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a daily press briefing.

"(We cannot) say a small deal would mean failure and only a big deal would mean success," he added.

The remarks came in response to some claims and news articles here that suggested the second U.S.-North Korea summit will have made meaningful progress only when the countries reach a "big deal," under which the North agrees to take active denuclearization steps.

Trump and Kim both arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday. They were set to hold their first meeting over a private dinner later in the day.

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman insisted there were no such things as big deals or small deals.

"It is a continuous process where big deals include small deals," he said. "We cannot automatically distinguish small deals from big deals."

Trump earlier said he expected great progress from the Hanoi meeting while speaking to his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, over the phone last week.

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman too has highlighted the possibility of progress at the U.S.-North Korea summit, citing what he called a very tight schedule that is expected to have Trump and Kim hold face-to-face meetings on at least five separate occasions in just two days.

"Given the schedule announced by the White House and the schedule we have come to be aware of, President Trump and Chairman Kim are expected to hold in-depth discussions in face-to-face meetings," Kim earlier said.

Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in June. Their second summit in Hanoi is set to end Thursday.


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