Trump continues to pursue a summit with Kim Jong Un even though the CIA casts doubt on his stated goal for the meeting, eliminating North Korea’s nukes.
A US delegation traveled to North Korea on Sunday for preparatory talks ahead of a potential meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, three senior US officials with knowledge of the situation tell CNN.The group included US Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, and is a clear sign the summit is back on track.The Washington Post previously reported on the team entering into North Korea.
Kim is apparently concerned that the trip to Singapore may leave his government vulnerable to a military coup or that other hostile actors might try to depose him, sources told The Post. The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since the country’s inception following the armistice in 1953.
Rumors of a simmering military revolt in North Korea are precisely the kind of thing that emboldened Kim to keep a tight grip on power over the years, according to some experts.
Pyongyang attacks US “provocation” and says it will not be forced to give up its nuclear weapons.
Mr Kim’s statement, carried by state media, said that if the US “corners us and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks” and “will have to reconsider” attending the 12 June summit in Singapore.
He said North Korea did have “high hopes” but that it was “very unfortunate that the US is provoking us ahead of the summit by spitting out ludicrous statements”.
(CNN) — North Korea outlined steps Saturday to dismantle its nuclear testing site — and confirmed that international journalists, including from the United States and the United Kingdom, would be invited to watch this month as its tunnels are blown up.The announcement, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as reported by state news agency KCNA, came a day after Pyongyang pledged no longer to carry out unannounced missile tests or other activities that put flights at risk, according to a United Nations aviation agency
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also says the goal of talks with North Korea is complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He says he had “good” and “substantive” conversations with leader Kim Jong Un during his visit.
Contrasting the wealth of South Korea to the poverty and deprivation of the North, Pompeo said the Trump administration is willing to provide assistance to North Korea if Kim meets U.S. demands to forfeit its nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s release of three American hostages is a clear win for President Trump and for new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who personally escorted them home emphasizing the thought that ‘no American will be left behind.’
This doesn’t change the criminal nature of the Kim Jong-un regime, which inflicted fatal injuries on another US hostage, Otto Warmbier, before releasing him last year.
But it does show that things have changed in Washington: Team Trump plainly demanded tangible, irreversible concessions from Pyongyang in advance of the coming nuclear talks — rather than flying a planeload of cash there to win the hostages’ release after reaching a nuke deal.