N. Korea allows SKorean journalists to cover nuke test closing

Joanna Estrada
May 23, 2018

It's not unusual for North Korea's official media to turn to hyperbole to make a point and the rhetorical barrage coincides with a visit to Washington by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "If the U.S.is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment", Gwan said, "we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and can not but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit."So, if President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Zucker: Trump "secretly watching CNN" all day and night GOP candidate behind "Deportation Bus" loses in gubernatorial bid Penn to Hewitt: Mueller probe born out of "hysteria" MORE can not come back to Washington with a nuclear agreement in hand, he need not worry - and neither does he need to resort to more forceful military options, which would very likely include the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the use of the very nuclear weapons Washington hopes to destroy".

It has said in previous, failed talks that it could consider giving up its arsenal if the United States provided security guarantees by removing its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. New cell phone policy at Pentagon Doubts grow over Trump-Kim summit MORE, are saying all the right things and acknowledging that the United States can not rely on economic strangulation and political pressure alone.

Our correspondent in Beijing, NBC's Janis Mackey Frayer, said "North Korea is still likely to go ahead with closing its nuclear site sometime in the next couple of days". "He will be very happy".

Moon's trip to the White House represented an effort to salvage the rare diplomatic opening.

The dovish Moon deployed a tactic frequently used by foreign leaders who meet this most mercurial of presidents: flattery.

"We will not just sit by and watch the North Korean women workers be sent into Kim Jong Un's hands", said a protester from one of the groups, Fighters for Free North Korea. "Right now, he doesn't know whether or not he has a meeting", Trump said of Moon.

South Korea - deeply anxious about Kim's bellicose weapons testing and Trump's similarly aggressive warnings about "fire and fury" - was instrumental in convincing the two Cold War foes to sit down and talk.

It was unclear why the North changed course and made a decision to let South Korean journalists in the country.

Trump surprised his guests, his own aides and the world by summarily accepting the meeting, seeing an opportunity to "do a deal" and avoid military confrontation. The other journalists from the United States, the U.K, China and Russian Federation had arrived Tuesday.

A handful of foreign journalists, including from South Korea, were originally invited to attend.

"Denuclearization is not off the table for the North, but it expects the United States to end the so-called "hostile policy" as a precondition for denuclearization". "That is a key step in the denuclearisation for North Korea, and we look forward to learning more about the details of that", she said. Does it have to be?

"Dictators may exercise extreme and draconian power like Kim, but they are also pathologically insecure about their grip on the throne", Cha said.

Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas division of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), made his remarks in the wake of Mr Trump's comments on the issue last week.

Pompeo said Kim "asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him. I wouldn't care to predict whether it would happen, only to predict that we'll be ready in the event that it does".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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