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White House: Trump-Kim meeting won't take place without North Korea "concessions"

10 March 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says he believes his meeting with US President Donald Trump could produce "great achievements", according to a report by Seoul-based SBS TV.

Others are anxious about the concessions Mr Trump has made simply by accepting the invitation.

On Thursday evening, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong told White House reporters that Trump had agreed to meet with Kim sometime before May. At one meeting, he said previous missile tests had caused Moon to schedule early morning national security meetings.

A Trump-Kim summit would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of missile tests that Washington sees as provocative and after a barrage of insults between the two leaders. News of the unprecedented meeting between the North and the United States is, for now, not worthy of even the most fleeting of mentions.

"Trump will probably fall victim to the same conceit that most American presidents do in the sense that they [think they] personally, in their interactions with foreign leaders, can work their magic, away from the plodding diplomats". He threatened to rain "fire and fury" down on North Korea.

Trump spent his first year in office lending credence to the first concern.

"The World is watching and waiting! Even pessimists acknowledged that Trump's hard line against Pyongyang, after decades of less forceful USA effort, played a significant role in moving one of the world's most vexing and threatening problems in a potentially positive direction". Unfortunately, however, the North's nuclear arsenal has been written into the country's constitution - it is often referred to as a "treasured sword of justice" - and thus it is hard, if not impossible, to see the leadership giving it up. If it takes a meeting that makes Kim feel important in order to extract meaningful concessions, then it would seem to be worth it.

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Chung had recently returned from Pyongyang, where he met Kim who, he said, "expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible".

In the case of last month's Winter Olympics, which occurred in South Korea and featured North Korean athletes, the Kim regime chose not to broadcast any of the event at all. Unnamed U.S. officials were more circumspect, with one senior administration figure noting that "the North Koreans have earned our skepticism, so we're a bit guarded in our optimism". "In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain". After a year of tough talk, Trump, who before entering the White House had little foreign policy experience, will be sitting down in one of the most politically fraught discussions of his presidency and some hawks warn Trump needs ground rules first.

But the story that provided the broadest view of the Post's dismay was headlined "Trump's bellicosity secures a diplomatic coup - for now".

"They've done this maneuver many times before, where they simply try to buy time", said Kinzinger. "Even on Wednesday they were still calling Donald Trump an idiot", Alistair Coleman, a North Korea expert for BBC, told Wired, adding that North Korea often takes a "day or two" to broadcast such key news. What we're talking about is an invitation by the leader of North Korea to meet face to face with the President of the United States.

Much to everyone's surprise, it was Kim who extended the invitation through South Korean officials on Thursday, pledging to refrain from further nuclear tests.

I wonder if they are praising him only because their ratings have been so low. "But let's see if it actually comes off".

White House: Trump-Kim meeting won't take place without North Korea