[July 2] South Korea, US and North Korea Summit; National Assembly of Cambodia approves new development budget; Vietnam and European Union sign FTA
PHOTO: Blue House. President of the United States of America, Donald Trump (left) with President of South Korea Moon Jae-in (right)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in South Korea on Saturday, June 29th, to begin a two-day summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as well as a meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Before the visit, the White House released a statement saying that this visit is meant to “reaffirm a vital partnership that is essential to our economic and security interests.”
The official welcoming dinner came in advance of their formal summit talks the following day, with Trump scheduled to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to meet with Kim.
Moon said that while he would also to go the DMZ, the “focus” would be on the Trump-Kim encounter, with a possibility of a more formal sit-down at a later date.
Moon said, “I think when the third US-North summit will be held depends on what change today’s meeting and dialogue could generate. Continued dialogue is very practical and the only method to bring about peace on the Korean peninsula.”
At first, it was very unclear as to whether or not Kim will show up to the meeting as Trump sent as invitation to the North’s leader via Twitter. Fortunately, the North Korean leader accepted this surprise invitation.
PHOTO: Reuters. Trump and Kim each stepped over the border into North and South Korea
Following Trump’s arrival to Seoul, he became the first sitting US head of state to set foot on North Korean soil when both Trump and Kim stepped over the border at the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula, after shaking hands. The two then turned back together to the boundary, where Moon joined them.
Standing next to Trump after the border crossing, Kim, noting the historical value of the meeting, said, “This meeting is a symbol of separation between South and the North and a reminder of the unfortunate past. Meeting in such a place shows that we are willing to put an end to the unfortunate past and also opens a new future.”
Trump and Kim then had a private meeting at a building in the southern part of the border village.
What originally was intended to be an impromptu exchange of pleasantries turned into a full 50 minute meeting. This day marks a return to face-to-face contact between the leaders after talks broke down during the Vietnam Summit in February.
After the bilateral dialogue, Trump revealed that he had agreed with Kim to restart working-level denuclearization talks within the next three weeks.
“We just had a very, very good meeting with Chairman Kim,” Trump told reporters after parting with Kim at the border. “We have agreed that we are going to designate a team. The teams will try to work out some details.”
However, Trump indicates that he would not lift sanctions on North Korea in a hasty manner.
“Speed is not the object,” he said. “Nobody knows how things turn out.”
Kim was invited to the White House by Trump and the North Korean leader said he would visit the US when the timing was right.
On his way back to the North, Kim said, “The fact that we will be able to meet each other anytime now, I think this is the signal this meeting will send.”
PHOTO: Yonhap News. The leaders of the two Koreas and the United States walk together toward the Military Demarcation Line at Panmunjom
As the peace mediator between Washing and Pyongyyang, Moon said, “I believe we have just overcome a hill in the overall denuclearization process. So, the 80 million Korean people on the Korean Peninsula have been given hope thanks to today’s meeting.”
PHOTO: Siv Channa. Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly, arrives for a plenary session
Due to development challenges that have been an issue for a while, the National Assembly of Cambodia, on July 1st, unanimously agreed to pass the National Strategic Development Plan of 2019-2023, which will need a total of $57.7 billion in capital.
The decision was made by 112 out of 125 Members of Parliament who were present at the plenary session presided over by the National Assembly President Heng Samrin.
The draft law on the plan was approved by the Council of Ministers during a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 7th. There was an ongoing debate for 40 minutes by the National Assembly before all 112 lawmakers voted to support the draft law.
It will soon be sent to the Senate for further deliberation, before it reaches the Constitutional Council and King Norodom Sihamoni for approval.
Planning Minister Chhay Than, quoting Sen, stated, “Before it was approved by the Council of Ministers of the Royal Government, the Planning Ministry discussed multiple times, in both technical and inter-ministerial meetings, in order to review indications. Inputs from ministries and the national budget were also evaluated.”
Regarding the budget, Than described that the private sector would contribute $43.4 billion, or 75 percent of the budget, while $14.3 billion will come from the government.
Than noted that the plan will reduce poverty, promote inclusive growth, ensure competitiveness, manage migration and urbanization, fight climate change and illegal logging, and ensure good governance and the improvement of human resources.
Hou Sry, a CPP lawmaker, said the plan is part of the government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase IV, which aims to develop the Kingdom.
“NSDP is a comprehensive strategy that covers all sectors. I admire the government for its effort to set a careful strategy in response to main challenges. This strategy is acceptable,” said Sry.
PHOTO: Quochoi.vn. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Maimstrom (right) with Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (right)
On Sunday, June 30th, Vietnam and the European Union (UN) signed free trade and investment protection agreements in Hanoi, Vietnam during a ceremony attended by the European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The trade pact includes provisions on intellectual property protection and investment liberalization. The trade deal and investment protection agreement still must be approved by the European Parliament and the National Assembly of Vietnam.
Ngan continued to make an emphasis that the agreements that were signed would promote the good cooperation between the two sides to new heights and open up opportunities for cooperation of businesses on both sides. She expressed her confidence that when being approved and implemented, the signed agreements will bring practical benefits to the Vietnamese and the EU people, businesses and investors.
Almost 65 percent of duties on EU exports to Vietnam will be removed as soon as the FTA enters into force, while the remainder will be removed progressively over the course of the next ten years.
As for Vietnamese exports to the EU, 71 percent of duties will disappear when the FTA is ratified, and the remainder will be phased out over a period of up to seven years, although some agricultural products will be limited by quotas.
According to Maimstrom, the signing of the agreements was a great accomplishment by the leaders and the negotiating staff of both sides. The documents conveyed a message that the EU and Vietnam wanted to cooperate strongly on sustainable and free trade to bring mutual benefits to the people and businesses of both sides. She continued to reiterate that the EU would continue to support Vietnam in the implementation of further work related to the signed agreements.
At the meeting, Ngan and Malmstrom also discussed several issues of mutual concern, agreeing on the need to promote dialogues and maintaining a regular dialogue mechanism between the two sides in the framework of the Vietnam – EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
BY MSEAP Cyber Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org