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Trump's North Korea summit will go ahead, insists Moon Jae

Trump's North Korea summit will go ahead, insists Moon Jae

The official media had until recently taken a relatively subdued tone amid the North's diplomatic overtures to its neighbors, including a summit with South Korea's president last month and plans for leader Kim Jong Un to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12. Amid growing concern over the success of the summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was to meet with Mr. Trump in Washington later Tuesday. The White House turned heads this week with the release of a commemorative "challenge coin" for the summit, featuring profile engravings of Trump and Kim for the "peace talks".

"This is make-or-break", said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest. South Korean president Moon Jae-in was scheduled to meet Trump in Washington later on Tuesday, as US officials try to figure out whether North Korea, which has pursued nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations sanctions, is serious about negotiating a deal on denuclearisation.

In particular, experts in Seoul say Kim's aim is to trade a modest reduction in the North's nuclear arsenal in exchange for promises from the U.S.to keep any nuclear-capable ships, submarines and planes away from the peninsula, as well as a long-term pledge to pull its troops.

Beijing may share Pyongyang's goal of reducing the American military presence on the Korean Peninsula, but it hasn't been happy with Kim's nuclear ambitions.

North Korea's condemnation of Trump's hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, for proposing that North Korea should emulate Libya by abandoning its program of weapons of mass destruction was believed meant to sow divisions within the administration.

Still, The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trump is privately asking his aides and allies whether the summit should proceed. They are on their way to the Punggye-ri nuclear site to cover its dismantlement, scheduled for sometime between Wednesday and Friday. US -based North Korea monitor 38 North has said commercial satellite images taken May 7 and May 15 shows North Korea has already done preliminary work to close the site.

South Korean observers like Shin Chang-hoon also worry that Moon will push Trump to go ahead with a "ridiculous" summit because he has staked his career on inter-Korean peace.

The summit ended with a joint declaration that both countries are committed to denuclearization and officially ending the war 65 years after the armistice. "If the USA and the South Korean authorities persist in the confrontation policy and war moves against the DPRK, oblivious of this fact, they will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences", it said. -North Korean diplomacy afloat.

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"I will guarantee his safety, yes", Trump said, if Kim agrees to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.

"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", Moon said. This would be with Kim Jong-un - something where he'd be there, he'd be in his country, he'd be running his country.

That same day, Pyongyang also warned Mr. Kim might "reconsider" the USA summit over hard-line comments from Mr. Trump's new National Security Adviser, John Bolton. It has promised to invite journalists from the USA and several other countries to witness the demolition, and satellite images have shown what appear to be viewing stands being built nearby.

It also abruptly pulled out of meeting with the South, complaining about joint military exercises involving US and South Korean forces. Among other things, it's afraid a failure in negotiations will "provoke more serious confrontations than before", said Cheng, including threatened military action by the US, right on China's doorstep.

"The Libyan model isn't a model that we have at all, when we're thinking of North Korea", Trump said, before floating the idea of potential protections for Kim Jong Un as a conclusion following successful negotiations. Even so, Vice President Mike Pence raised Libya again in a serious of tweets Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers remarks during the Prison Reform Summit at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., May 18, 2018.

But Pyongyang has cut off high-level contact with Seoul over the exercises with the United States military.

He suggested that while the administration has said it's content to continue the maximum pressure campaign should talks falter, Trump appears intent on making a deal.