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Hopes Dwindle For North Korea Meeting, Southern Primary Results, Olympics Scandal

Hopes Dwindle For North Korea Meeting, Southern Primary Results, Olympics Scandal

Politically, Trump has invested heavily in the success of his meeting with Kim, and so privately most United States officials as well as outside observers believe it will go ahead.

It was unclear whether Trump was truly backing away from the summit or whether he was strategically coaxing North Korea to the table after decades of tension on the Korean peninsula and antagonism with Washington over its nuclear weapons program. "We're still working towards June 12".

It was the clearest indication to date that the audacious summit Trump agreed to in March may be at risk.

If it goes ahead, it will be first meeting between a US and a North Korean leader during more than six decades of hostility, and it would come just months after the North's rapid progress toward attaining a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike America fueled fears of war. "Maybe it will happen at a different time, but we will see", said President Trump. "But we are talking".

During the press conference, the activists released a declaration for their march campaign that expressed their support for the Panmunjom Declaration adopted in April between Moon and Kim, as well as their hopes for successful talks between Kim and Trump.

Some US officials believe Moon oversold Pyongyang's promises when his government relayed Kim's invitation to Trump for talks in March.

The event is scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but the North has said it may cancel if the United States insists on it giving up nuclear weapons. But whereas Trump dreads political embarrassment, Kim has more existential fears.

"I don't like that", Mr Trump said. "I do think he is serious".

He said he had raised it with Kim "and it will be part of the discussions as we move forward".

And he suggested Pyongyang had much to gain from striking a deal.

"For the Kim family, everyone is a potential enemy", Choi Min Jun, a North Korean defector living in South Korea, told the BBC.

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Moon, who has urged a diplomatic path in the belief it could forestall war, arrived in Washington in a bid to bolster confidence that the Singapore meeting will be a success.

Mr Pompeo has twice met Mr Kim in Pyongyang.

Some in the U.S. government worry that Moon may be prepared to accept a less-stringent version of North Korean denuclearisation than Washington wants.

"We are prepared", he said.

Amid the uncertainty, a White House team is headed to Singapore this weekend to work on logistics for the trip.

He did meet with some of Trump's aides earlier in the day, however, as questions about the administration's approach to the summit continue to mount.

Mr Trump accepted North Korea's invitation for direct talks after more than a year of heated rhetoric and with global concern that hostilities might escalate into military confrontation.

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.

"They already collected the necessary data through six nuclear tests and unless they discard that data, there are suspicions over how significant the dismantling of a nuclear test site that has already run its course is", said Go Myong-Hyun, an analyst at the Asan Institute of Policy Studies.

Activists, rights groups and defectors in the South worry, though, that Seoul's desire to sustain the improvement in relations with Pyongyang-in which President Moon Jae-in has been a driving force-might prompt officials to reverse course.

The US secretary of state told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that he was "hopeful" that the meeting would go ahead. "There have been no concessions offered and none given".


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