Friday, 25 May, 2018

Pyongyang Slams Japan's 'Hostile Behavior' Ahead of N Korea-US Summit

A clock above the central railway station in Pyongyang A clock above the central railway station in Pyongyang Credit AFP
Ebony Burgess | 09 May, 2018, 00:58

Details trickle out nearly daily about the upcoming historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, probably to take place in late May or early June.

Undoubtedly fixated on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, President Trump and other government officials are saying the president is responsible for bringing the two Korea's to the peace table with his policy of maximum political pressure and sanctions and this will lead to a possible denuclearization of the region.

The warning comes after President Trump confirmed to reporters Friday that USA and North Korean officials have agreed on a "time and place" to hold the historic summit; the first meeting between an American president and the ruler of North Korea in history.

"Pyongyang Time" was created as tensions between the authoritarian country and the US grew over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program and global sanctions aimed at dismantling it.

The comments were widely seen as a negotiating tactic against the Trump administration.

Trump's "leadership and his maximum pressure policy together with worldwide solidarity brought us to this juncture", Moon's National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong told reporters in March.

Bolton met his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong in Washington late last week to discuss plans for both locations, according to local media reports.

The potential economic benefits of cooperation also bolster hopes of peace between North Korea and the US.

SEOUL-North Korea readjusted its time zone to match South Korea's on Saturday and described the change as an early step toward making the longtime rivals "become one" following a landmark summit.

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South Korean leader Moon Jae-in is schedule to visit the White House on May 22, the White House said, where the main topic will be Trump's sitdown with Kim.

"The U.S.is deliberately provoking the DPRK at the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation", said a spokesperson for the communist regime.

"As for the summit location, the possibility of Panmunjom, originally considered to be the leading contender, has fallen", a source knowledgeable of planning for the event said.

Not everyone is convinced North Korea will give up all its nuclear weapons though, with some experts still very skeptical.

"This act can not be construed otherwise than a unsafe attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one", he added.

He added: "Stayed tuned".

The White House has said its pressure campaign on North Korea will continue until the North dismantles its nuclear program. Mr Trump hinted the release of Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim was in the offing.

President Donald Trump greets Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a ceremonial swearing in at the State Department on May 2, 2018, in Washington.

North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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