US has daunting to-do list to prepare for NKorea summit

Lester Mason
May 18, 2018

The White House said Wednesday that it "fully expected" threats by North Korea to potentially cancel Kim Jong Un's meeting with President Donald Trump.

North Korea has already said it has suspended such testing without requesting the USA stop its cooperative military drills and during a meeting in Pyongyang earlier in March, Kim Jong Un reportedly told South Korean special envoys that he "understands" that the exercises "must continue".

Donald Trump's upcoming summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has been treated as a victory for the president's bellicose approach to foreign policy.

US State Department says it's moving ahead with planned Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore in June despite North's warning.

Some analysts and U.S. officials believe North Korea may be testing Trump's willingness to soften the United States demand for complete denuclearisation for the summit, which has prompted the president's supporters to suggest he deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

North Korea has cast doubts on the summit happening, complaining about some of the things President Trump's aides are saying and complaining about U.S.

She said Mr Trump was "ready for very tough negotiations", adding "if they want to meet, we'll be ready and if they don't that's OK".

FILE - White House press secretary Sarah Sanders talks to reporters outside the White House, May 3, 2018. "We'll continue with the campaign of maximum pressure if that's the case". "We're 100 per cent confident ... he's the best negotiator".

The decades-old debate over how and when North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons program has reemerged in the run-up to Trump's first-of-its-kind meeting with Kim.

American stealth F-22 fighters were spotted in South Korea in May, but the USA military command in South Korea said no B-52s were scheduled to take part. North Korea has given concessions by releasing USA detainees and setting a date for the dismantling of its nuclear test site.

The Pentagon says the military exercise that prompted North Korea to cancel a high-level meeting with South Korea on Wednesday and threatens a planned summit with the US next month is a routine, annual event that is purely defensive in nature. But so far the North has not given any public indication of what concessions it is offering, beyond euphemistic commitments to denuclearisation of the "Korean peninsula".

In the past, Pyongyang has demanded the withdrawal of United States troops stationed in the South, and an end to Washington's nuclear umbrella over its ally.

Washington and Pyongyang are continuing talks over the method and timing for the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. Without it, dictator Moammar Gadhafi found his forces under attack by the USA and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and both his regime and he were soon eliminated. -South Korean Max Thunder military drills while also canceling a planned gathering between Korean officials meant to implement measures from the recent inter-Korean summit.

"The exercise will proceed as planned, and regarding that, there are no differences between South and the US", the ministry said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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