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U.S. will ensure “robust” verification of North Korean denuclearization: Pompeo, By Oliver Hotham

U.S. will ensure “robust” verification of North Korean denuclearization: Pompeo
Ahead of historic summit, Secretary of State says sanctions will remain until CVID takes place

The U.S. will not make the mistakes of the past and will ensure that a “robust” mechanism is set up to establish North Korea’s complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization (CVID), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told press on Monday.

Speaking to press at the U.S. Television Pool press center in Singapore on the eve of a historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pompeo also insisted that CVID remained the only outcome his country would accept.

“Many Presidents have signed off on pieces of paper only to find out the North Koreans didn’t promise what we thought they had or that they reneged on their promises,” the Secretary of State said, adding that the “verification” element of CVID was all-important.

“We are going to ensure that we set up a system sufficiently robust that we are able to verify these outcomes, and it’s only once the ‘v’ happens that we’ll proceed apace,” he continued.

“At the end of the day both countries are going to need to come to have sufficient trust in each other in order to verify that we will provide the things that we commit to in the various documents that we sign.”

Any agreement with the North made in the coming days, the Secretary of State said, would have to see Pyongyang accept CVID – the “only” outcome the U.S. would accept.

“Sanctions will remain until North Korea completely and verifiably eliminates its weapons of mass destruction program,” he continued. “If diplomacy does not move in the right direction – and we are hopeful it will continue to do so – those measures will increase.”

But in an apparent opening to Kim Jong Un, Pompeo also said that the U.S. President “recognizes” the North Korean leader’s need for security guarantees before CVID can take place.

And ahead of any North Korean denuclearization, Pompeo continued, the U.S. was willing to “make the security assurances necessary for the North Koreans to engage in that denuclearization.”

“We’re willing to take action to convince them that denuclearization isn’t something that ends badly for them,” he said. “President Trump… is prepared to ensure that a North Korea free of weapons of mass destruction will also be a secure North Korea.”

The President was, in turn, open to expanding access to foreign investment and “other economic opportunities” for the DPRK “if they take the right steps,” he said.

The Secretary of State’s comments come amid a day of meetings between U.S. and North Korean officials – meetings he said were ongoing as of 1740 local time.

 


The June 12 Kim-Trump summit: what to expect, By Mintaro Oba

The June 12 Kim-Trump summit: what to expect

Much will depend on how the two sides manage expectations

With just two days to go before the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, it’s clear key logistical pieces are starting to fall into place – but that remains unknown or undecided. We now know, for instance, that the summit will begin at 0930 Singapore time.

 


President Trump meets Singaporean PM for pre-summit talks, By Dagyum Ji and Oliver Hotham

President Trump meets Singaporean PM for pre-summit talks

Summit comes amid ongoing working-level DPRK-U.S. meetings

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, in talks a day ahead of a historic North Korea-U.S. summit meeting.The two met at the official residence of the Singaporean President around midday local time, before holding a lunch meeting at which several other high-level U.S. officials .

 


Singaporean authorities beef up security around Kim, Trump hotels, By Dagyum Ji and Oliver Hotham

Singaporean authorities beef up security around Kim, Trump hotels

DPRK leader under notably tighter protection than U.S. President, however

With less than 24 hours to go until North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets U.S. President Donald Trump, security is tight in and around the temporary residences of the two leaders. Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are, respectively, staying the St. Regis and Shangri-la hotels in central Singapore.

 


The Kim-Trump Singapore summit: How did we get here? By Colin Zwirko

The Kim-Trump Singapore summit: How did we get here?

The road to the historic meeting has seen its fair share of ups and downs

With the turbulent diplomacy and summitry of the past few months leading up to Tuesday’s Trump-Kim summit, the headlines have sometimes felt like they are repeating themselves. “The summit is off,” “The summit is on,” “Kim Jong Un meets X,” “Y condemns Z.” Negotiation teams are meeting in – where? Singapore? The DMZ? .

 


Amid high security, Kim Jong Un and sister flew separately into Singapore, By Chad O’Carroll

Amid high security, Kim Jong Un and sister flew separately into Singapore

Security a top priority for DPRK during summit visit to Singapore

Amid high security, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his sister Kim Yo Jong flew into Singapore for Tuesday’s summit with the United States on separate flights, photos and reports indicated on Sunday. Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore’s Changi Airport on a VIP-capable Air China 747-400 from Pyongyang at around 3.15pm.

 


Kim, Trump arrive in Singapore for landmark summit, By Colin Zwirko

Kim, Trump arrive in Singapore for landmark summit

Singaporean Prime Minister met North Korean leader on Sunday, will meet President Monday

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at his office in Singapore Sunday evening in his first diplomatic outing of his visit to the country ahead of Tuesday’s landmark summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Arriving at the Prime Minister’s office after 1900 local time.

 

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How North Korean TV covered the summit – Sunday 

(North Korea Tech) On the day that both Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump arrived in Singapore for talks that could change the course of the nation, North Korean state TV and the state-run news service were silent about any of the events taking place in South East Asia.

State media rarely reports on the activities of Kim Jong Un in advance so the silence isn’t a surprise, but it does serve to highlight the closed society that North Koreans live in. Because foreign media isn’t permitted into the country, state media services are able to cover events at their own pace.

Part of the lack of advance coverage of what Kim Jong Un is doing in advance is often seen as a security measure, keeping his whereabouts confined to a small number of people, but it’s also partly so the state can shape the narrative on any event once they’ve seen it’s outcome.

By not telegraphing expectations, any result can be portrayed as victorious and the plan all along. This avoids precisely the situation President Trump has worked himself into, at first talking about complete denuclearization and mentioning a Nobel Prize, and now trying to walk it back a bit while deflecting some who are already calling the reduced aims a failure.

So what did North Korean TV report on Sunday?

The main 8pm evening news led with a statement made by a Nepali scholar of North Korean politics that lauded Kim Jong Un as a defender of peace on the the Korean peninsula and the world.

Reports on anything complementary said about Kim Jong Un by people overseas are often carried as news items. What’s a little interesting about this one is that the state news wire carried the item on June 5.

The news continued with reports on workers laying wreaths at monuments to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, factory workers looking at an exhibit of the day Kim Jong Il visited their workplace and news on construction projects, agriculture and other social activities.

It was thoroughly typical of every daily news bulletin on North Korean state TV.

Kim Jong Un did make an appearance. On Sunday, state TV replayed a report on him visiting the Pyongyang Seafood Restaurant. It was broadcast four times on Sunday after having aired four times on Saturday.


S. Korean, Singaporean ministers hold phone talks

(Yonhap News) The top diplomats of South Korea and Singapore agreed Monday to continue close cooperation on regional security, especially as the Southeast Asian city state is set to host the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting. In their phone conversation, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan briefed his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, on his recent trip to Pyongyang, according to Kang’s ministry.

He also informed Kang of the results of a meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong-un and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore a day earlier.

The minister told Kang that his country will put in its best diplomatic effort for the success of Kim’s historic summit with President Donald Trump slated for Tuesday. He vowed to maintain close partnerships with South Korea as well.

Kang appreciated Singapore’s role in summit preparations and stressed the need for continued cooperation with the South. Singapore is known as a neutral diplomatic player. Both Koreas have embassies there.


S. Korean gov’t notifies N. Korea of its delegation list for Thursday’s general-level inter-Korean military talks

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(Arirang) Seoul’s government notified Pyongyang of its list of delegates for the general-level inter-Korean military talks set for Thursday. The South’s defense ministry informed the North. through a military communication line as well as through a communication channel at Panmunjom.

Seoul’s team will be led by two-star general Kim Do-gyun, who was also a presidential secretary until early May.
The MND asked Pyongyang to send its list of delegates.
That planned meeting is expected to focus on ways to ease tensions along the border.


Graham, Menendez agree on desirable North Korea deal but differ on backup military option

(Washington Post) Two top senators indicated Sunday that they generally agree on what a good nuclear deal with North Korea might look like, but they differed sharply on whether to back it up with a military Plan B.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) a leading Republican hawk, said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that he’s “100 percent” pleased with a letter top Senate Democrats sent President Trump last week insisting that any deal with North Korea must include a permanent dismantling of the country’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

But Graham also called on his colleagues to go a step further and authorize use of military force if diplomatic routes fail.

“Here’s what I would say to my Democratic colleagues,” Graham told host George Stephanopolous. “I appreciate you telling the president what a good nuclear deal would look like, but the country needs you to back the president up to get that deal.”

“So here’s my question for my Democratic colleagues,” Graham continued. “If diplomacy fails, will you support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China things will be different this time?”

Lawmakers and policymakers are closely watching this week’s historic summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two men are expected to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities, which the country has rapidly advanced during the past year under Kim’s watch. Kim appears especially interested in getting rid of international sanctions that are hampering his country’s economic growth.


N. Korean fishing boat rescued off east coast, crew members want to go back

(Yonhap News) A North Korean fishing boat was rescued while floating in waters off South Korea’s east cost on Monday, and all five of its crew members have expressed their desire to go back home, officials said.

A South Korean fishing boat alerted authorities after spotting the North Korean boat floating about 118 nautical miles off the east coast city of Sokcho around 6:20 a.m. The Coast Guard dispatched a patrol vessel and rescued the boat, which was suffering from an engine problem.

After questioning the five crew members, authorities determined that they didn’t intend to defect.

“As far as I know, it’s not that they crossed into the South to defect. It appears that they expressed their desire to go back,” a government source said on condition of anonymity. “We need to clearly determine their intention through questioning.”

If it’s confirmed that the crew members want to go back, the government notifies the North of its plan to repatriate the boat and its crew members and hand them over to North Korean authorities at sea.

It is not uncommon for North Korean fishing boats to end up in South Korean waters due to engine or other mechanical problems. The South has repatriated crew members if they want to go back. In December, the South sent a North Korean fishing boat back to the communist nation after rescuing it in waters about 84 km off the island of Ulleung.

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