Kim summit 'depends on Kim' - Mike Pompeo

Kim summit 'depends on Kim' - Mike Pompeo

Kim summit 'depends on Kim' - Mike Pompeo

The closing was announced by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of his planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump next month.

Last week, Pyongyang threatened to pull out of the 12 June summit in Singapore if the USA pressed for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Trump suggested that it could be delayed rather than canceled: "It may not work out for June 12, but there is a good chance that we'll have the meeting". "If we go, I think it will be a great thing for North Korea".

The delegation, which includes White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, was being dispatched after Trump said on Tuesday there was a "substantial chance" the summit would be called off amid concerns Pyongyang is not prepared to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that a U.S. advance team was due to fly to Singapore this weekend to discuss arrangements with North Korean counterparts.

Pompeo said a USA -led sanctions pressure campaign on Pyongyang would not be eased until North Korea gives up nuclear weapons and that the United States had no intention of making concessions to Pyongyang.

The previous day, during a White House meeting with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, Trump appeared to signal flexibility over this negotiating position in which North Korea would dismantle its programme, and surrender its nuclear warheads, fissile material and production facilities, before any reciprocal measures from the US.

Pompeo said Kim "asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him".

His remarks reflect an effort to put the ball back in Pyongyang's court and perhaps lay the groundwork for blame should the talks fail.

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.

Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated recently.

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He was testifying Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Last week, a senior North Korean official said that position was not acceptable to Pyongyang, raising doubts over whether the summit would happen.

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

However, Pyongyang's professed commitment to "denuclearisation" is likely to differ from Washington's demand for "comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible" nuclear disarmament. "We are not going to do trade for trade".

But as the date draws near, the differences between the two sides are coming into sharp relief.

Pyongyang has vowed it will never give up its nuclear deterrence until it feels safe from what it terms U.S. aggression.

Previous similar gestures by the North were rapidly reversed when the global mood soured.

North Korea cancelled high-level talks with South Korea, saying the South's joint military exercises with the USA - which it had previously said it would tolerate - were a "provocation". But Trump also said he believed Kim was "serious" about negotiations.

He said the site's destruction would win Pyongyang worldwide sympathy even if the summit collapses.

But the South Korean press corps were left off the flight after Seoul said they had received no word from Pyongyang in recent days on whether their reporters had been accepted.

"I will guarantee his safety, yes", Trump said.

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