North Korea's top military officials replaced

Pauline Gross
June 4, 2018

According to Yonhap news agency, which cited intelligence sources, the chief of the general staff Ri Myong Su has also been replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong Gil.

Whether such projects will amount to anything hinges on whether the Trump-Kim meeting even takes place next week in Singapore.

While the Syrian President's office is yet to announce the visit, just the suggestion that Mr Assad has asked to visit North Korea will affect the White House efforts to define an agenda for Mr Trump's planned June 12 summit in Singapore with Mr Kim.

"The nuclear weapons are a side issue", he said.

This could be a sign that the North Korean leader is "pursuing a new policy to become a developing country without nuclear weapons, rather than a poor country with nuclear weapons", he said.

The report by the state-run KCNA news agency gave no details on the timing for a possible trip by Assad, who has rarely left Syria since the country's civil war erupted more than seven years ago.

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"The world welcomes the remarkable events in the Korean peninsula brought about recently by the outstanding political calibre and wise leadership of HE (His Excellency) Kim Jong-un", Mr Assad said, according to KCNA.

"If Kim Jong Un is set on making peace with the USA and South Korea and dealing away at least part of the nuclear program, he will have to put the KPAs influence in a box and keep it there", said Ken Gause, director of the International Affairs Group at CNA, a non-profit research and analysis organization. "We can go fast, we can go slowly".

Trump said one thing that could come out of the summit is an agreement formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which was concluded only with a truce, not a peace treaty. Sanctions make it very hard for senior North Korean officials to travel overseas, and Madden said Kim will also not wish to impose too much of a burden on the Singapore government, which will have to deal with onerous security arrangements caused by both leaders' presence in the city.

The comments sought to address concern the United States may be rushing to strike a breakthrough in the unprecedented summit between the two leaders after U.S. President Donald Trump put the meeting back on track for June 12 in Singapore.

There has also been speculation Kim does not wish to leave North Korea for an extended period of time as this may encourage any remaining opponents to his rule to seize the opportunity to stage a coup.

"They are shaping these guys up because there is going to be a lot of foreign interaction", Madden said.

Other reports by GizPress

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