Trump threatens to hold South Korean trade deal hostage

President Donald Trump   Getty Images  Pool

Washington fears that Seoul might drift from their alliance and move closer to Beijing, while Mr. Trump feels his approach to North Korea is being undermined in the wake of a flurry of diplomatic initiatives by Mr. Kim in recent weeks, especially his meeting this week with China's president, Xi Jinping, analysts said.

If the summit takes place, Kim Jong Un will become the first DPRK leader to set foot on South Korean soil in nearly seventy years.

The leader of Pyongyang's delegation Ri Son Gwon added: "What the people want is our agenda".

This comes at a time when China and North Korea surprised both the United States and South Korea when they announced on March 28 that they held a summit behind closed doors.

The summit will be seen as a victory for South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who has always been pushing hard for diplomatic relations with North Korea.

The two-day secret meeting between the nations' leaders could lead to another seat at the table when President Donald Trump sits down to talk with Kim during an upcoming US-North Korea summit.

"We mostly lived off on instant noodles and quick seaweed rice wraps bought from Korean supermarkets to save time", the official said.

North Korea's diplomatic engagement comes in sharp contrast to 2017 when the peninsula appeared to be barreling toward imminent conflict, with Kim overseeing a string of missile and nuclear tests and Trump promising "fire and fury" as Pyongyang threatened Guam, Hawaii and even the United States mainland.

Meanwhile, a South Korean government spokesperson said the visit that ends on Tuesday had not disappointed, while a press conference by the high-level delegation is expected upon its arrival in the Seoul at 6 p.m.

The North's commitment to stand down on nukes follows a busy year of a combined 17 full-flight missile tests last year, including one last September in which North Korea upped its game with its sixth and largest nuclear test to date.

"I think we have to look at what North Korea's motivation is here", he said. "We believe this meeting will prove helpful in solving the problems surrounding the Korean Peninsula through political discussions and agreements on the peninsula's denuclearization and establishment of peace and security". Yang praised Moon's role in paving the way for dialogue with North Korea and noted that Beijing also had a high regard for Kim's position on denuclearization. "North Korea talks, it could unnecessarily complicate our relationship".

Washington and Seoul have said Kim previously told South Korean envoys that he was willing to put his nuclear weapons up for negotiation in his talks with Trump. Suga declined to say if a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is being discussed.

The Ford Explorer was the most popular USA made vehicle in South Korea past year, with about 6,000 vehicles registered, according to statistics compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Unlike his liberal predecessors, Moon will not have to travel to Pyongyang.

It will be the first inter-Korean summit since 2007, a delay that may be partly explained by Moon's status as his country's first left-leaning leader in a decade - bilateral ties completely broke down in the interim over the course of two conservative administrations.

Kim and his wife also personally hosted a dinner for the group on Monday night at the Workers' party headquarters, the first time South Korean officials have visited the building, according to Seoul's presidential office.

That would include the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Cho said.

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