What's the biggest obstacle to Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un? Trump

What's the biggest obstacle to Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un? Trump

He was testifying Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I think we'll get those conditions.

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

Pompeo was asked at a congressional hearing if the meeting in Singapore on June 12 will happen or not after Trump said Tuesday "there's a very substantial chance" it won't go off as planned. Trump has praised it as a "very smart and gracious gesture".

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

Denuclearization is one of the first words that comes to mind when discussing diplomatic efforts on the Korean Peninsula.

Politically, Trump has invested heavily in the success of his meeting with Kim, and so privately most USA officials as well as outside observers believe it will go ahead.

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

"For the Kim family, everyone is a potential enemy", Choi Min Jun, a North Korean defector living in South Korea, told the BBC.

Mr Pompeo has twice met Mr 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.

"We're moving along. And we'll see what happens", Trump added.

What's the biggest obstacle to Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un? Trump
What's the biggest obstacle to Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un? Trump

The trek will involve an 11-hour train ride, a four-hour bus journey and then a hike of another hour, a reporter with Russia's RT said on Twitter.

Global journalists on Wednesday set out on an arduous journey to witness the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear test site, Punggye-ri - an event that experts predict will be more about PR than substance.

US officials said preparations for the summit were still underway despite recent pessimism - and privately suggested there would be additional public maneuvering as both sides seek to maximize their leverage.

The North had declined to accept the list of South Korean reporters for days without providing any reason or explanation, giving rise to speculation that the foot-dragging might have to do with somewhat cooled relations between the two Koreas after the North's abrupt cancellation of inter-Korean talks scheduled for last week.

Trump raised doubts about the summit in talks on Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who came to Washington to urge Trump not to let a rare opportunity with reclusive North Korea slip away.

He said the destruction of the Punggye-ri test site would win Pyongyang worldwide sympathy even if the summit collapses.

A North Korean official said Wednesday that, weather permitting, the country will soon dismantle its nuclear test facilities.

Observers will be watching the nuclear test site destruction ceremony closely for any clues to the North's mood.

The list of the South Korean journalists selected to witness the shutdown was at last accepted by North Korea in the morning, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

"We hope for an early realization of complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through a North Korea-U.S. summit and dialogue of various levels, starting with the abolition of the nuclear test site", ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a news briefing.

Other US officials have privately expressed concern that Moon, eager to make progress with the North, may have overstated Kim's willingness to negotiate in good faith over the dismantling of his nuclear arsenal.

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