Published: Tue, June 12, 2018

Trump casts North Korea summit as just a first date

Trump casts North Korea summit as just a first date

Even so, the summit continues to be a sensitive topic in North Korea and it is hard - even more so than usual - to get people to express opinions about it.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world.

The North has presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to the country's neighbours and the U.S. as a logical next step and completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent in response to what Pyongyang says is a policy of "nuclear blackmail" by Washington. And the maximum, I think you know the answer to that.

Yet the top USA diplomat added Trump is ready to offer "unique" guarantees to ease the regime's concerns about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride.

Tensions between the two countries escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme. As I recently wrote, while certain sanctions on North Korea are discretionary, a key 2016 law specifically obligates the president to sanction people and entities complicit in human rights abuses in North Korea - not just those involved in weapons proliferation - and the Trump administration legally can't suspend sanctions more broadly unless North Korea implements key human rights reforms.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump was prepared to offer "unique assurances" to Kim in exchange for "verifiable" denuclearization.

"We've had multiple deals with North Korea", said Green, who served as director of Asian affairs for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

This picture taken on June 8, 2018 shows Lee Hye-ji, a 31-year-old South Korean housewife - who is hopeful about the Trump-Kim summit, during a street interview with AFP in Seoul. On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with USA and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

North Korean-US Summit
Image credit ULI-PwC report

Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that had happened, Pompeo said.

The summit will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.

"He was my counterpart in the South-North denuclearisation talks in 2011", he said.

The rare public appearance of Kim, waving and smiling to onlookers, adds to the more affable image of the young leader that has emerged since his summit in April with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. It's a price they are willing to pay for peace.

He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

As he disembarked from Air Force One, Trump told reporters that he feels "very good" about his prospects.

Lee Do-kyu, also 27 and unemployed, said the recent inter-Korean summits had raised his interest in politics, but it had waned rapidly.

"Because of difficulties finding a job these days, I have lost much interest in those things".

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