Trump urges China to maintain tight N Korea border ahead of summit

Trump urges China to maintain tight N Korea border ahead of summit

It's not unusual for North Korea's official media to turn to hyperbole to make a point and the rhetorical barrage coincides with a visit to Washington by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to walk away from an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday, after North Korea called into question the meeting last week.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that the United States president is asking aides and advisers whether he should continue to go forward with the summit.

But a failure would have devastating political consequences for Moon, whose sky-high approval numbers would certainly take a big hit.

"We - we want to see the denuclearization process so completely underway that it's irreversible", national security adviser John Bolton said.

It also abruptly pulled out of meeting with the South, complaining about joint military exercises involving US and South Korean forces.

Trump encouraged Kim to seize the opportunity for the meeting and to make a deal to abandon his nuclear program, pledging not only to guarantee Kim's personal security, but also predicting an economic revitalization for the North.

Trump surprised senior USA officials when he accepted Kim's invitation for a summit back in March.

Moon Chung-in, a special adviser to the South Korean president, said Moon may serve as a mediator between Trump and Kim.

"Still, we note that the dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an initial step to denuclearization the North promised, is proceeding as scheduled, and we expect it to lead to a successful hosting of the North Korea-US summit", he said in a statement.

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State media unleashed three strongly worded commentaries slamming Seoul and Washington for the maneuvers and demanding Seoul take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.

Joint US-Korean military drills have also infuriated North Korea, causing it to suspend talks with South Korea and bar its journalists from witnessing the closing of its nuclear test site this week.

Moon Jae-in jets into Washington on a mission to salvage a rare diplomatic opening between the United States and North Korea that is in trouble nearly before it begins.

North Korea's state-run Minju Joson newspaper issued a fresh attack on the USA and South Korea in a commentary Tuesday, again pointing to the ongoing Max Thunder air exercises.

"It's a well-thought, long-planned, deliberate game plan of North Korea, aimed so that it remains a nuclear weapon power", said Cheon.

"It may not work out for June 12", Trump told reporters during an Oval Office photo opp with Moon.

The US president and the South Korean leader are polar opposites who have made the same bet: that they can reach a deal with Kim Jong Un.

The national security adviser to President Moon Jae-in said that the summit nearly certainly will go ahead, despite signs to the contrary in recent days.

Chung Eui-yong, top security advisor for President Moon Jae-in, told reporters on a flight to Washington that South Korea now had 99.9 percent of expectations for the DPRK-U.S. summit to be held as agreed upon though the country was preparing for several possibilities, according to the Blue House. "We're 100% confident, as we've said many times before, as I'm sure you're all aware, he's the best negotiator and we're very confident on that front", she added.

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