Donald Trump Is Slowly Realising He's Been Totally Played By North Korea

A meeting between US President Donald Trump left and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae In could decide whether the US president's much-vaunted summit with the North's leader Kim Jong Un goes ahead

Trump aides growing skeptical of Kim summit as South Korea's President visits

-North Korea summit is supposed to take place, President Donald Trump will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday as USA officials try to figure out whether Pyongyang is serious about negotiating a deal on denuclearization.

"I suspect President Trump has some tough questions for President Moon that he'd prefer to ask privately, given the lack of clarity on what the North Koreans will agree to - and the latest chess move by the North Koreans to threaten to cancel the June 12 summit", said Jean Lee, the Korea Center program director at the Wilson Center. "We have fooled around with North Korea for 25 years, and fooling around some more is just going to make matters worse". His aides are now looking to Moon to help determine whether Kim is taking a harder line against denuclearization than South Korea had previously communicated to them, a US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

On Monday, Pence said during his Fox News interview that under Trump's leadership, the U.S. "is not going to tolerate the regime in North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that threaten the United States and our allies".

A small group of foreign journalists arrived in North Korea on Tuesday to cover the dismantling of the country's nuclear test site later this week, but without South Korean media initially also scheduled to participate.

"Kim Jong Un coming out to talks is not an act of one-way surrender, but a movement to adjust mutual interests", said Lee Jong-Seok, now at the pro-engagement Sejong Institute outside Seoul. It was Kim and Xi's second meeting in recent months, and came as a surprise to the Americans.

Going into the North Korea meeting, senior administration officials say, the president has been nearly singularly focused on the pageantry of the summit -including the suspenseful roll-out of details. Trump is apparently starting to conclude that Moon overpromised on the North's readiness to deal, which may be true. "The only diplomatic option left is to end the North Korean regime by effectively having the South take it over", he said about eight months ago. North Korea has been "effective" in "possibly generating or stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in value", Moriuchi told CNN.

Today, President Trump revealed more details about the meeting and tweeted: "On China, barriers and tariffs come down for first time".

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The North claimed the exercises involved USA strategic nuclear assets - including nuclear-capable B-52 bombers - and violated the spirit of detente on the peninsula.

The better part of Trump's response to the North Korean threat to "reconsider the summit" was that he issued a stern warning that if the denuclearisation talks collapse, the ongoing maximum pressure campaign against the Pyongyang regime would continue to be in place and it could face the same fate as Libya.

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"China can be a guarantor to North Korea that if they give up their nuclear capacity, the United States will not be in a position to harm them", United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Bloomberg in an interview last week.

"We know that", says Park Ihn-hwi, a professor at Seoul's Ewha University.

It is now looking unlikely to go ahead after North Korea said it would not hold talks with South Korea unless their demands that the South stops conducting military drills are met. "That's Trump's negotiation strategy".

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