gpolit.com
gpolit.com May 20, 2018


Trump is getting briefed on North Korea … by the media

18 May 2018, 02:11 | Rufus Hill

China 'hopes' Kim-Trump meeting will happen as planned

People watch a TV screen showing file footage of US. President Donald Trump left and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

North Korea on Wednesday said it might not attend the summit if Washington continued to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Speaking at an Oval Office meeting with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump also said he will not discuss USA troop levels in South Korea during his meeting with Mr Kim. Kim's government understands this perfectly well. "North Korea's going to be very important".

A TV screen shows a satellite image of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 13, 2018.

In rambling remarks in which he also sharply criticized China over trade, Mr Trump said that as far as he knew the meeting with Kim was still on track, but that the North Korean leader was possibly being influenced by Beijing after having made two visits there recently. "In Libya, we decimated that country". "If it doesn't, we'll go on to the next step".

US President Donald Trump has ruled out the use of the so-called "Libya model" in efforts to pursue denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, media reported. "He will get protections that are very strong", he said, adding "the best thing he could do is make a deal". He would be running his country. His country would be very rich...

The slated talk nearly hit a rough patch earlier this week with Pyongyang saying it was reconsidering the summit.

In his statement Tuesday, Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea's first vice foreign minister, said of Bolton: "We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him".

The US leader also suggested Kim's about-face on the meeting may have been at the behest of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In the past, North Korea has demanded the withdrawal of United States troops stationed in the South to protect it from its neighbour, and an end to Washington's nuclear umbrella over its security ally. North Korea could also be trying to capitalize on an apparent gap in messaging between Bolton and USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

One interpretation Panda offered was that the North Koreans "effectively thought the USA wasn't being serious, was running sort of an arrogant victory lap before the talks had taken place, and was still setting up complete denuclearization as the benchmark". Pyongyang released three American detainees last week in a show of good faith, and President Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for being "excellent" to the men who were imprisoned under questionable circumstances.

Trump's comments show he is eager to address North Korea's concerns so the summit can take place.

A collapse in talks between Kim and the United States and Kim and South Korea would raise the possibility that he and his Chinese patrons could face an East Asia Cold War where South Korea and Japan also have acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

North Korea strongly criticised South Korea over ongoing US-South Korean military exercises on Thursday and said it will not return to talks with its rival until Seoul resolves its grievances.

One underlying problem, as foreign policy experts have previously told Salon, is that Trump already made a major diplomatic concession to Kim Jong-un by agreeing to meet with him, something no previous USA president has ever done.

Others outside the White House, however, perceived that something had changed.

China has called for the building of mutual trust through the suspension of large-scale USA and South Korean war games in return for a halt of the North's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.5 percent on Thursday.

"The North Koreans want a change in tone from the USA, and at least so far, they're not hearing one", Mr. Pollack said. It adds that "the US will have to think twice about the fate" of the Trump-Kim summit.



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