North Korea eyes second summit with US in Switzerland

Korea Pool

South Korean media reported Friday that Pompeo brought with him an Elton John CD signed by President Trump that includes the song "Rocket Man" - the derogatory nickname Trump used to use for Kim. The CD has a message written on it by Trump, along with his signature, the news agency said.

Perhaps most importantly there are U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim, who has led the team of negotiators that hammered out Trump and Kim's joint declaration and met again this past Sunday at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, and CIA Korea Mission Chief Andy Kim, who has been Pompeo's right-hand man on this issue since his time as CIA Director. Apparently, Kim admitted to having never heard the song before, which is likely what prompted Trump to make the gesture.

North Korea is looking for a venue in Switzerland for a possible second summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" - a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stops short of longstanding USA demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

The U.S. State Department has denied relaxing its definition of what constitutes North Korean denuclearization ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang Friday.

Despite reports that North Korea has actually continued to expand facilities related to the nuclear programs during the weeks since the Singapore summit, Mr. Trump has remained upbeat about the prospects for a breakthrough. He said the Trump administration can not give in to demands from Russian Federation and China to loosen sanctions before denuclearization is achieved.

"If they're serious, then we can get down to the business of defining the terms of final denuclearization", said one official.

But that does mark a shift from the U.S.'s earlier demands for North Korea's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization". They're not doing that anymore. "But for eight months, there's been not one rocket or missile launch or there hasn't been a nuclear test". "Who knows. And if it does, I won't be happy".

He added that he was encouraged last week by reports that North Korean officials were "taking down ... anti-U.S. propaganda" in Pyongyang.

Skepticism remains high about whether there will be practical gains following the Trump-Kim summit, given the lack of concrete promises.

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