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Korean journalists in N. Korea to cover nuke-testing site demolition

Korean journalists in N. Korea to cover nuke-testing site demolition”

North Korea had earlier refused to grant entry visas to the South Korean journalists, raising worries about the prospect for recently improving ties.

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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that a planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un depends at this moment on Kim.

Skepticism about the North's intentions have mounted in recent weeks after Kim's government pulled out of planned peace talks with the South last week, objecting to long-scheduled joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces.

The newspaper reiterated harsh criticism against Max Thunder, denouncing the exercise as a practice for a pre-emptive airstrike.

Pompeo also spoke about President Trump's decision to ditch US participation in the nuclear agreement with Iran that was negotiated by the Obama administration and five other world powers.

"North Korea has a chance to be a great country and it can't be a country under these circumstances they are living right now", Trump said.

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.

Trump asserted that soon after North Korea relinquishes its nuclear power, Kim would make his country "rich" and "proud".

"Frankly, it has a chance to be a great, great meeting for North Korea and a great meeting for the world", said President Trump. It has also criticised the Max Thunder drills.

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Mr Trump said "there's a very substantial chance" that the meeting will not take place on June 12.

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.

"I'm very hopeful that that meeting will take place".

"The North Koreans have conducted all these tests here, every single weapons test, so if they let experts in to look at these tunnels before they let anyone else in that would be potentially for us an intelligence boon", said Bruce Bechtol, a professor of political science at Angelo State University.

"We have made zero concessions to Chairman Kim and have no intention to do so", Pompeo said.

President Trump sounded a lot less optimistic on Tuesday when asked about plans for a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

High-level intra-Korea talks will likely resume after Friday, once Max Thunder finishes, Moon's media secretary Yoon Young-chan said.

North Korea, which views its nukes as a guarantee that its authoritarian regime won't go the same way as those in Libya and Iraq, has said it wants a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearization, which neighboring China supports.

The refusal followed North Korea's abrupt cancellation of a meeting of senior officials of the two countries slated for last week, where they were set to discuss follow-up measures to the historic inter-Korean summit on April 27.

North Korea conducted several nuclear tests over the past few years and developed long-distance missiles which, it says, can carry nuclear bombs as far as the USA mainland.



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