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Kim Jong Un said to replace three aging, top military leaders

05 June, 2018, 09:37 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • White House says 'powerful' sanctions to remain on North Korea

During the talks, President Trump must now consider his offers to North Korea both as they relate to the deal and as they relate to Congress. But North Korea views the military drills as a threat, and the country has suggested it could call off negotiations over its nuclear weapons program if the exercises continue to take place. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has also offered to chip in a share of the million dollars it was awarded for winning the Nobel Peace Prize previous year.

Trump did say he "probably" would bring up human rights when he meets with the North Korean leader - "and maybe in great detail".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is meeting Trump at the White House on Thursday to advocate for his country's interests at the talks. "Kim Jong Un is going to put people in place he can trust, who are loyal to him".

An official at South Korea's Unification Ministry said the government was watching the North's leadership very closely.

If confirmed, this is likely to be the first time the North Korean leader is meeting a counterpart in Pyongyang.

Asked Friday about North Korea's willingness to give up its nuclear weapons all at once, Trump said, "I think they want to do that", but also acknowledged his summit "will be a beginning" of a process.

The U.S. official, who spoke on Sunday on condition of anonymity, was commenting on a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency that all three of the North's top military officials were believed to have been replaced.

But efforts may have been frustrated, owing to North Korea's lack of cooperation with initial US weapon demands, a South Korean foreign ministry official told the paper. He said the army could be getting ready to take over crucial infrastructure projects.




But its new director Kim Su Gil is said to be a "highly trusted" lieutenant of leader Mr Kim.

The Eastern Economic Forum, which is traditionally used by Russian Federation to attract investors from Pacific nations, is scheduled to take place this year, on September 6 and 7.

The historic meeting between Mr Trump and Kim would be the first between sitting USA and North Korean leaders.

Responding to a question on "maximum pressure" policy on North Korea, the press secretary said the U.S. policy towards Pyongyang has not changed.

Yonhap reported that Kim Yong Chol had transited Beijing on Monday on his way back to Pyongyang from the United States.

In March 2013, he was seen attending a late night meeting convened by Kim to order missile units on "standby" to strike USA and South Korean military installations after a US strategic bomber flew over South Korea.

In addition to being hardcore loyalists, Madden said the three officers were experienced in dealing with foreigners, which was seen as a plus point.

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