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Trump, still planning summit, reassures and warns Kim Jong Un

18 May 2018

But Mr Trump warned that failure to make a deal could have grave consequences for Kim.

The US president's statement is a reference to a comment by Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton, who referred to the "Libya model" as a pattern for the North's de-nuclearization.

In reality, the dynamics that made a successful maximum-pressure campaign possible have changed fundamentally.

"This is not an attempt to solve the problem through dialogue but rather the force the destiny of the collapsed Libya and Iraq to our dignified state", Kim said, according to KCNA.

China is North Korea's most important economic partner and has long sought to convince it to follow Beijing's path of enacting free market reforms while maintaining tight single-party rule.

"If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue", the North Korean minister added.

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"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a honest and serious attitude (to stand in each other's shoes)", the official said. He and the powerful elite around him could expect serious enrichment during this process and in time might even be prepared to risk easing their draconian control over their people.

In the last analysis, the United States should be willing to accept both the concessions to the North that the South is willing to make and the risks from the North that the South is willing to take. When Kim protested he would not agree to give up his nuclear weapons, he was protecting his downside.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea's borders to trade and travel.

Trump's remarks came as Pyongyang threatened to cancel the historic summit, set for June 12 in Singapore, after blaming U.S. demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment".

After a few months of rapprochement, North Korea abruptly called off scheduled high-level talks with South Korea on Wednesday and warned the USA that a planned summit with President Donald Trump could be at risk.

North Korea's latest statements have echoed the Kim regime's verbal attacks before a recent thaw in ties with South Korea and the U.S.

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After announcing early Wednesday that it was pulling out of high-level talks with Seoul because of a new round of U.S.

"I can't tell you yet", he added. I want to give everybody the benefit of the doubt.

Former US negotiator Joel Wit said "This is probably the wrong time to be making threats, three weeks before the summit".

But defanging Bolton, the most militant of Trump's advisers, is now also apparently a major priority. First, it should try to keep expectations low and encourage Seoul to do the same.

White House aides denied that Kim is in the driver's seat. So what is it, then, that they really want?

While Kim has agreed to discuss "denuclearization", he wants a phased approach and an end to Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign of global sanctions and military threats. At that point, the only other option could be war.

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Trump, still planning summit, reassures and warns Kim Jong Un