N.Korea summit: Pence warns Kim not to 'play' Trump

Pauline Gross
May 23, 2018

This is apparent from Pyongyang's change of tone, including new warnings to the US and South Korea, thereby undercutting the White House hype over the forthcoming Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. -North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12. The worldwide negotiations were attended by the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and North Korea in a bid to curb Pyongyang's nuclear development.

However, it remains to be seen if Trump and Moon can keep the goodwill going before the U.S. Some of Kim Jong Un's advisors may now be encouraging Kim to work harder at getting both: security assurances and an eventual normal relationship with the USA and acceptance as a nuclear weapons state, at least for an interim period, which could then eventually become de jure recognition as a nuclear weapons state.

Supporters stress that sometimes Trump's ambitious efforts do pay off, as with the massive tax cut bill he signed into law late past year.

Moon's top national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said that the two presidents are expected to meet Tuesday alone without aides.

Since that threat, Trump and others in the White House have denied they are demanding a so-called "Libya model" for disarmament, while still insisting North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons for which it would be richly rewarded. They were not authorized to speak publicly. His aides are now looking to Moon to help determine whether Kim is taking a harder line against denuclearization than South Korea had previously communicated to them, a US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Driven by gut instinct, Trump rarely dives deep as he prepares to meet with foreign counterparts. Dissing the South Koreans shows they only see the South as a vehicle to get to the US - the real talks are yet to come.

"The high-level meeting with Seoul, canceled last week over the South Korean-US joint military drills dubbed Max Thunder, would have been useless at least as far as basic issues go". Administration officials viewed the warning as bluster, akin to Trump's own promise to walk away if Kim isn't serious about denuclearization.

An expanded meeting involving other officials from both sides will be held later over lunch at the White House.

A North Korea with nuclear weapons is not Iran.

Trump has suggested he can achieve this goal in negotiations with Kim.

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Trump expressed suspicion that the North's recent aggressive barbs were influenced by Kim's unannounced trip to China two weeks ago - his second in as many months.

If no deal emerges next month, Trump ought to write a sequel to his 1987 book "The Art of the Deal" with the title,"The Art of Unmaking a Potential Deal".

One official said the priority of the talks in Singapore would be to reach a topline understanding with Kim, with details to be fleshed out later.

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. Such an agreement could provide Kim more assurances that his leadership would be secure.

Trump responded by saying the meeting may or may not take place.

Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown University and former White House official, said the best outcome would be "good optics, good atmospherics, some broad statements on denuclearization and peace, and some immediate deliverable".

"Where are we, if the meeting is canceled? I think when John Bolton made that statement, he was talking about if we are going to have problem, because we just can not let that country have nukes". "I think from the broader perspective, that would be the worst outcome".

More recently, a commentary published by North Korea's state news agency in 2016 said that "history proves that powerful nuclear deterrence serves as the strongest treasure sword for frustrating outsiders' aggression".

Trump administration officials have also grown concerned that the President is overly eager for the summit to take place, increasing Kim's leverage should the talks take place, USA officials and a source close to the administration said.

Other reports by GizPress

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