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Trump-Kim meeting unlikely at upcoming U.N. General Assembly

All News 07:00 September 09, 2020

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- A surprise reunion of U.S. and North Korean leaders before the U.S. presidential election may be unlikely, at least at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

The world body will begin its 75th session this month with the heads of its member states set to take part in the annual General Debate, to be held Sept. 22-26 and Sept. 29, according to the U.N.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to address the U.N. General Assembly on the first day of the annual meeting, followed by other heads of state, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

North Korea, on the other hand, will be one of the last to address the U.N. on the last day of the meeting, according to officials from the South Korean mission to the U.N.

In the file photo, taken June 30, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are seen shaking hands in a meeting held inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas. The meeting followed the leaders two bilateral summits in June 2018 and February 2019. (Yonhap)

They said this likely meant the communist North will be represented by a government official, instead of leader Kim Jong-un, noting the order of speakers at the U.N. meeting is first determined by the office of speakers.

Kim has yet to take part in a U.N. meeting or travel to the United States, but some had anticipated his trip this year for an "October surprise" meeting with Trump ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

Trump and Kim have held three meetings, including two bilateral summits in June 2018 and February 2019.

Their talks have stalled since their latest summit ended without a deal, but have been one of major selling points for the U.S. president seeking his second term.

"When I say that we got along and we've met, everyone says, 'Oh, that's so terrible.' No, it's a good thing. It's a good thing, not a bad thing. It's a good thing. Doesn't mean bad things don't happen, but it's a good thing," Trump has said of his meetings with Kim.

The South Korean diplomats said Trump will likely be one of very few leaders, if not the only head of state, to physically take part in the annual meeting of the world body in New York.

The United States has said most of those from countries currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic would be required to undergo a two-week quarantine period after arriving in the country.

South Korean diplomats said most leaders, including Moon, will likely take part virtually.


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