Published: Tue, May 22, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

As Trump-Kim Summit Approaches, South Korea's Leader Heads To White House

As Trump-Kim Summit Approaches, South Korea's Leader Heads To White House

The US intelligence community is exploring acquiring or developing new technological means of protecting its communication channels prior to the planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore, one intelligence source with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

The increase in rhetoric between Kim and Trump past year effectively provided the cover to advance it to the point it directly threatened the Untied States which, in turn, has now led to a diplomatic coup for North Korea - a possible meeting with the President on equal terms.

The North's decision to close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site has generally been seen as a welcome gesture by Kim Jong Un to set a positive tone ahead of his summit with Trump.

"It doesn't look like they want to denuclearize at all", a senior Trump administration official explained to The Washington Post.

The eight South Korean journalists were excluded because Pyongyang has cut off high-level contact with Seoul to protest an exercise with the US military - a protest the North's media reiterated Tuesday, saying saber-rattling and dialogue don't mix.

Trump is due to meet with Moon on Tuesday as USA officials try to figure out whether Pyongyang is serious about negotiating a deal on denuclearisation.

"It was never credible to believe that insulting Kim Jong-un on Twitter was the solution to decades of a slow-burning and deeply complicated diplomatic impasse".

Lee, of the Wilson Center, contends "the North Koreans have skillfully played the situation by manufacturing an awkward moment between Moon and Trump just before their May 22 meeting". This first ministerial visit from India to North Korea in almost two decades was at the invitation of the North Korean government, but comes at a time when developments in the region have the potential to bring in a fundamental realignment in the balance of power.

While the US President seems surprised by the U-turn, experts such as Brian Klaas of the London School of Economics are suggesting this was North Korea's plan all along.

North Korea, judging from its recent statements, appears to perceive itself as a country that against all odds, including unbelievable global pressure, emerged as a nuclear-armed country, and it is pushing the rest of the world to view it the same way.

The North Koreans have threatened to pull out of the talks with Trump, blaming what they term are demands by the United States for "unilateral nuclear abandonment".

"China must continue to be strong & tight on the Border of North Korea until a deal is made", he wrote in a tweet. "And for the United States, China can also be a guarantor that if there is an agreement, that the agreement is effectively implemented by the North Koreans".

In her view, however, some in Washington may take a dim view of that, seeing the requests as premature "rewards for North Korea, which has not done anything to reduce the threat on the Korean Peninsula". "Senator Marco Rubio stated on Sunday in a tweet that "#China has outnegotiated the US again". "Beijing has even less influence over US policy and President Trump".

"I don't think the President gets cold feet about anything".

"We know that", says Park Ihn-hwi, a professor at Seoul's Ewha University.

The coin also announces Kim's title as "supreme leader", despite there being no official position with that name in North Korea. "That's Trump's negotiation strategy".

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