World watching North Korea summits for signs of nuke deal

World watching North Korea summits for signs of nuke deal

Success on the nuclear front could mean a prolonged detente and smooth the path for a planned summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in May or June.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his "bitter sorrow" after dozens of Chinese tourists were killed when a bus they were travelling in plunged off a bridge.

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Western visitors to the North once averaged around 5,000 a year, but numbers have been hit recently by a U.S. travel ban -- Americans accounted for around 20 percent of the market -- and official warnings from other countries.

The move comes ahead of Friday s historic inter-Korea summit between Kim and South Korea s President Moon Jae-in.

Trump initially welcomed Pyongyang's statement it would halt nuclear and missile tests, but he sounded more cautious on Sunday. It's an encounter so fraught with outcome that it threatens to overshadow Moon's own historic meeting with Kim planned for Friday, the first time a supreme leader from Pyongyang will set foot across their militarized border.

On April 11, 2018, an official from Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae ruled out North Korea's human rights record as an agenda item for the summit.

"We have misunderstood North Korea's promises before (and they have broken them)", Melissa Hanham, an analyst at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, warned.

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Manning said Trump's belief in himself as a dealmaker, and his history of being a counterpuncher, could lead to things getting "nasty really fast" if Trump feels North Korea has tricked him.

The speakers, which can be heard for miles on the North's side, have been playing on a regular basis since January 2016, when they were turned back on as a response to North Korea's fourth nuclear test. But implementing the base camp approach is hard when all the North Korea experts at the State Department have gone, including a three-decade veteran who announced his retirement in February.

Thornton emphasized that the in close coordination with South Korea in dealing with North Korea at a time when the two countries are preparing to hold their respective summits with the North.

The United States maintains more than 28,000 troops in South Korea, a presence that has remained on the peninsula since the Korean War ended in a cease fire in 1953. Among these steps, visits of the special envoy of President Moon to North Korea and the United States were highlights.

However, a nascent South-North détente emerging from the summit could constrain the USA bargaining position. These are indications of how skillfully Kim is maneuvering to preserve his nuclear program while relaxing global sanctions and dissipating Trump's "fire and fury". Less than a month ago, he made a secret trip to North Korea and met with Kim to prepare for his talks with Trump.

A hard cap on North Korea's nuclear weapons capability could be the new negotiating point.

"We do this so that North Koreans can learn that the world is changing", the New York Times reported Kim Min-seok, a Defense Ministry spokesman, as saying in 2015. He has insisted that talks focus first on the nuclear threat - the U.S.'s chief concern - before the economic exchanges that he and Kim want.

In a joint communique issued after a two-day meeting in Toronto, Canada, the G-7 ministers affirmed they will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea and pushed Pyongyang to dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related facilities in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way.