White House says 'powerful' sanctions to remain on North Korea

ImageCreditTom Brenner  The New York Times

Unconfirmed information earlier surfaced in newspapers that paying for the North Korean leader's suite in Singapore during the summit might be unbearable for the DPRK's economy.

There was a lot of concern that if the USA government had offered to pay, it would be seen as a "power play", insulting the North Koreans.

North Korea's propaganda outlets condemned Bolton's remarks, which cast uncertainty on the future of the upcoming summit between Trump and leader Kim Jong Un: "It is absolutely absurd to dare compare [North Korea], a nuclear weapon state, to Libya which had been at the initial stage of nuclear development", a North Korean propaganda statement said. He's promised American investment in the under-developed country would follow.

Peace on a denuclearized Korean Peninusla would bring Japan peace of mind: North Korea conducted a nuclear test in September and test-fired almost two dozen missiles a year ago, some of which flew over Japan's main island.

In announcing the time of the historic summit, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said logistical preparations are being finalized by an advance team in Singapore.

The United States is seeking a negotiated end to North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Speculation over how North Korea will handle the costs for Kim's June 12 meeting with Trump has taken off after a Washington Post report cited two anonymous US officials suggesting the Trump administration has been "seeking a discreet way" to help pay Kim's hotel bill.

Last week, Mr. Trump met with a top North Korean official at the White House to plan for the summit.

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With the North-U.S. summit one week away, Kim's activities are being closely monitored.

But he also emphasized the economic aspects of Kim's move.

Kim Jong-un is reportedly tightening his control of the army.

"No is a person who has come to the fore in the Kim Jong Un era, as a up-and-coming and trusted aide".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, grilled by opposition parties over cronyism scandals, has been desperate to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the construction of the "Wonsan-Kalma shore Tourist Zone" in this undated photo released by KCNA in Pyongyang May 25, 2018.

Trump also said that there would be no new sanctions while the talks are taking place, although the White House was at pains to say existing economic sanctions will not be removed either. Moscow hopes that the settlement process on the Korean Peninsula won't be disrupted, although there are no 100% chances of success, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Monday after a meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers' Council.

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