North Korea's Kim criticizes United States 'hegemonism' as sides move toward summit

Charlene Craig
June 1, 2018

Meanwhile Mr Kim had also sent a personal letter to President Trump in Washington, which is expected to be delivered to the White House tomorrow.

After the North's combative statements, there was debate inside the Trump administration about whether it marked a real turn to belligerence or a feint to see how far Kim Jong-un could push the U.S. in the lead-up to the talks.

Meanwhile, the two Koreas agreed during a high-level meeting on Friday to hold talks later this month on military issues and reunions of families separated by the Korean War, a joint statement said. The U.S. wants a complete, "irreversible" and "verifiable" dismantling of North Korea's nuclear sites.

"What we have to convince them", the State Department official said, that "their nuclear program has made them less secure, that there's a better path forward, that we can work with them".

"President Trump and I believe Chairman Kim is the kind of leader who can make those kind of decisions, and in the coming weeks and months, we will have the opportunity to test whether or not this is the case".

Former four-star general and chairman of the Institute for the Study of War Jack Keane told Fox News that Trump would not engage in game-playing with his North Korean counterpart over their Singapore summit.

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"Our secretary of state is having very good meetings".

Kim met with Pompeo in NY on Wednesday evening, in what officials described as the highest-level visit to the United States by a North Korean in 18 years.

The two positions are hard to reconcile, as it's unlikely North Korea will agree to the "rapid denuclearization" Pompeo discussed in last week's testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Jo presented Clinton with a letter inviting him to meet the North Korean leader in Pyongyang, an invitation Clinton ultimately turned down.

Russia's Foreign Minister has called for sanctions on North Korea to be lifted and invited Kim Jong-un for a meeting in Moscow as he met with the dictator in Pyongyang on Thursday.

He is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S.in 18 years.

"We've had lots of conversations around that", he said.

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Sergei Lavrov was welcomed with open arms by Kim as he flew into the hermit kingdom in an apparent bid to curry favour ahead of the crucial summit between North Korea and the USA in Singapore next month.

That from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Lavrov invited Kim to Russian Federation, and called for a phased approach to denuclearisation, including easing of global sanctions on North Korea.

After his Thursday meeting with Kim Yong Chol, Pompeo tweeted that the two had made "good progress".

"The conversation is going to be focused on denuclearization of the peninsula", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday in her daily briefing. Trump views a summit as a legacy-defining opportunity to make the nuclear deal, but he has left the world guessing since canceling the meeting last week in an open letter to Kim that complained of the North's "tremendous anger and open hostility".

An American delegation led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin - described as a "pre-advance" team - is in Singapore planning logistics for the possible summit. Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week.

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