Donald Trump says North Korea summit 'may not happen' next month


"He will be extremely happy" Trump said of Kim, if the deal works out. The South Korean newspaper's report is from Monday, when, at press time, officials in Seoul said North Korea had not responded to their repeated requests to communicate about allowing the reporters into the country.

While remaining committed to the summit, Trump has privately has wondered whether North Korea is serious about denuclearizing, a senior US official said.

As a result, even as Trump and Moon talk strategy, Washington is full of whispered worries about whether the summit will even take place or whether Kim would truly be willing to negotiate.

The Milius's dockside welcome under a bright afternoon sky in Yokosuka, the headquarters of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, came amid uncertainty over whether the Trump-Kim meeting will go ahead.

Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" if necessary and derided Kim as "little rocket man" before talk of the Trump-Kim summit eased the pressure.

"The Libyan model isn't a model that we have at all when we are thinking of North Korea", Trump said.

Speaking last week, the president offered assurances to Mr. Kim that if he agreed to give up his nuclear arsenal, he would survive in power and his people would prosper.

The North has already conducted six underground tests at the site - including its most powerful ever, last September - and Kim told ruling party leaders last month that further testing is unnecessary.

It was unclear whether Trump was truly backing away from a summit that he is eager to hold or whether he was strategically coaxing North Korea to the table after decades of tension on the Korean peninsula and antagonism with Washington over its nuclear weapons programme. This would mean the removal of the USA "nuclear umbrella" over South Korea, not just the unilateral disarmament of North Korea.

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"We are looking right now at two Koreas". He added that the word is that recently the border has become much more porous and that more has been filtering in.

The North Koreans have sent mixed messages on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"South Korea and the US have been sharing every bit of information", he said. "I do think he'd like to see that happen", Trump said. After he got rid of his nuclear program, he was killed years later in a popular uprising aided by USA and allied aircraft. On Tuesday, he's set to meet at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to prepare for the summit.

"My guess is Moon is going to try and keep Trump tied to the diplomatic track", he added, pointing to South Korea's frequent praising of Trump and even suggestions he could receive a Nobel Peace Prize for a successful deal with Kim.

If the summit happens, it would be historic as no sitting United States president has ever met a North Korean leader.

According to Reuters - which notes that North Korea denied its journalists entry into the country - "roughly two dozen journalists from Western and Chinese news organisations departed for North Korea on Tuesday".

If the summit is called off or fails, it would be a major blow to what Trump supporters hope will be the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency.

The North Koreans have stated their interest in "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean Peninsula, but they define it in different ways, including a phased mutual process, in which the United States would draw down its military presence in the region, and eventually all nuclear powers would reduce their reliance on nuclear arsenals.

Many analysts dismissed this however, pointing out North Korea's position had not shifted significantly, and an improved relationship with Beijing did not mean China could pull the strings.

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