Published: Wed, May 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

President Trump casts doubt on June summit with North Korean leader

President Trump casts doubt on June summit with North Korean leader

Asked in a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee if the summit will take place, Mr Pompeo replied: "That decision will ultimately be up to Chairman Kim".

"While the U.S. has instinctive resistance against the North, it will realize that I'm not the type of person who would use nuclear weapons on the South, the Pacific or the U.S.", Kim told Moon at their April 27 summit.

"This could be something that comes right to the end and doesn't happen", said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump weighed in Tuesday, say there was a "very substantial chance" the planned summit with Kim "won't work out". An advance team from the United States is in Singapore to work out logistics, Trump administration officials said.

Trump did not say, however, whether the preparatory talks between USA and North Korean officials in coming days were expected to clarify the situation.

"Our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Pompeo said. The response will come as no surprise to those who follow our negotiating Commander-in-Chief: Trump has signaled that he doesn't need to rush in for a peace summit. "And if we go, I think it will be a great thing for North Korea".

Mr Trump later denied the U.S. would follow the "Libyan model" if an agreement was reached with North Korea.

A handful of foreign journalists, including from South Korea, were invited to attend the demolition ceremony.

Pompeo, who was director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Trump before becoming secretary of state in April when the president fired Rex Tillerson, has met twice with Kim in Pyongyang.

Mr Trump expressed suspicion that the North's recent aggressive barbs were influenced by Mr Kim's unannounced trip to China two weeks ago - his second in as many months.

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"We'll see what happens", Trump said.

From there they are expected to travel for some 20 hours up the east coast by train and bus to the remote test site-a vivid illustration of the impoverished country's notoriously decrepit transport infrastructure.

The summit would offer a historic chance for peace.

Punggye-ri has been the site of all six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September past year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb. -South Korean military exercises, and also threatened to abandon the planned Trump-Kim meeting, accusing the US of a "one-sided demand" that it give up its nuclear weapons.

On the call, which lasted less than 30 minutes, Trump sought Moon's interpretation of Pyongyang's shift to a harder-line position last week, a sharp contrast to the more positive and constructive tone after Moon met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un last month, according to a senior USA official with knowledge of the conversation. His spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Trump was referring to a commitment to seriously discuss denuclearization.

Punggye-ri has so far been the scene of six nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang. The eight South Koreans arrived in Wonsan on Wednesday, where they were forced to leave their radiation detectors, satellite phones and Bluetooth mouses before they all set off for the test site, according to South Korean media pool reports.

The government hopes to build up the tourism industry of a city once most famous for being the launch site of many of North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

South Korean journalists were initially left off the flight because they were not granted permission by Pyongyang.

Trump's newfound hesitation appeared to reflect recent setbacks in efforts to bring about reconciliation between the two Koreas, as well as concern whether the self-proclaimed dealmaker can deliver a nuclear accord with the North's Kim Jong Un.

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