N. Korea preps nuclear site demolition despite United States summit doubts

People watch a TV screen reporting that North Korea will dismantle nuke test site during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul South Korea Sunday
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23 May, 2018

-North Korean summit will proceed but laid the fate of the historic meeting squarely with Kim Jong Un, who won't be reassured by USA demands for "rapid denuclearization".

The announcement came as the diplomatic push for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons gathered pace with an unprecedented summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump announced for June 12 in Singapore.

"We demand the summit (between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un) to be held, not pass", the Nobel laureate from Northern Ireland said in a press conference for the DMZ event slated for Saturday.

"It may not work out for June 12", Trump said of the Singapore meeting, adding in a now familiar non-committal riff: "if it does not happen, maybe it will happen later".

Pompeo also spoke about President Trump's decision to ditch USA participation in the nuclear agreement with Iran that was negotiated by the Obama administration and five other world powers.

The demolition is due to take place sometime between today and Friday, depending on the weather, according to the North.

Lawmakers' questioning of Pompeo followed Trump's comment Tuesday that "there's a very substantial chance" the meeting would not proceed as scheduled.

Mr. Trump said during his meetings with Moon the summit may not happen as scheduled.

"I'm very hopeful that that meeting will take place".

Inside the West Wing, aides said Trump was upset by Kim's first visit to China in March, ahead of which Beijing did not notify the White House. Asked by lawmakers whether he had a commitment from Kim to make it the part of a deal, Pompeo said, "We have broad outlines of what it is that each nation is prepared to do".

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Following a summit between President Moon Jae-in and his USA counterpart Donald Trump, Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday that President Moon expects the two Koreas to resume suspended meetings after the end of the ongoing Max Thunder exercise.

Pompeo, who was director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Trump before becoming secretary of state in April when the president fired Rex Tillerson, has met twice with Kim in Pyongyang.

"I don't like that", Mr Trump said.

"I have no doubt that you will be able to. accomplish a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past".

It has said in previous, failed talks that it could consider giving up its arsenal if the United States provided security guarantees by removing its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

"We're moving along. We'll see what happens".

FILE - In this September 9, 2016 file photo, a man watches a TV news program reporting North Korea's nuclear test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. -South Korean air combat drills, suspended North-South talks and threatened to scrap the summit if Pyongyang was pushed toward "unilateral nuclear abandonment".

"We have three hostages back". Trump said he'd noticed "a little change" in Kim's attitude after the trip.

"Even if sanctions are lifted, it may take time for North Korea (DPRK) to realize the economic benefits President Trump has suggested as it will need to make internal reforms before we are likely to see significant investment from the private sector", he said.

But he said he was displeased by China's softening of border enforcement measures against North Korea.


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