North Korea must disarm before any economic relief, says Mike Pompeo

North Korea must disarm before any economic relief, says Mike Pompeo

US President Donald Trump says he will know next week whether his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place on June 12 in Singapore as scheduled, casting further doubt on plans for the unprecedented meeting.

South Korea's Unification Ministry says the journalists were finally accepted by the North Wednesday through a message sent by a cross-border communication channel at the truce village of Panmunjom. "The American people are counting on us to get this right".

Asked on Wednesday whether the summit would go ahead, Trump told reporters: "It could very well happen".

Even if the summit seems unlikely at the moment, it will probably be held on June 12th in Singapore as both sides have too much to lose if the meeting is canceled.

Singapore's United Nations ambassador, Burhan Gafoor, asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea for a sanctions exemption for the delegation to attend the scheduled June 12 meeting as well as for "preparatory work for the summit".

The spat between the U.S. and North Korea over what denuclearisation means raised questions about how clear Pompeo had been in his two meetings with Kim at Easter and earlier this month.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said here on Wednesday that a "bad deal" with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is "not an option" for the United States.

The confusion over the Trump administration's bargaining position has raised anxieties among Washington's regional allies, who are concerned the U.S. president might concede too much in his eagerness to call the meeting a success, or resort to military action if the talks collapse.

North Korean leader Kim Jong
North Korean leader Kim Jong

Meanwhile, a group of worldwide journalists is travelling to North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site to watch it being dismantled.

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

Talks between the Koreas will likely resume after Friday, once Max Thunder finishes, said Moon's media secretary, Yoon Young-chan.

Pompeo says previous USA administrations had been "fooled before and we can't permit that to happen again".

The entire talk about North Korea wanting to cancel the summit started when scheduled talks between the North and South were canceled because South Korean military held joint exercises with the U.S. military.

That was a reference to Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who agreed to give up nuclear weapons in 2003 and was later killed by Western-backed rebels.

It would be historic as no sitting U.S. president has ever met a North Korean leader.

"There was no deal to keep Gadhafi", Trump said.

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