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World South Korea, U.S. to work closely on summit after Pyongyang's about-face

10:06  20 may  2018
10:06  20 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Pompeo: U.S. to help North Korea economy if it gives up nukes

  Pompeo: U.S. to help North Korea economy if it gives up nukes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered economic help Friday to impoverished North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons, as the two countries prepare for an historic summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un.WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered economic help Friday to impoverished North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons, as the two countries prepare for an historic summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un.

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in hold a joint press conference in Seoul © REUTERS/Jung Yeon-Je/Pool FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in hold a joint press conference in Seoul South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held discussions on Sunday to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks.

Moon and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, and exchanged their views on North Korea's recent reactions, South Korea's presidential office said without elaborating.

"The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea- U.S. summit set on June 12, including the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit," the presidential official said.

China hopes Kim-Trump meeting will happen as planned

  China hopes Kim-Trump meeting will happen as planned China said North Korea and the United States should hold their historic summit as planned after Pyongyang threatened to pull out.North Korea also cancelled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul over the Max Thunder joint military exercises being held between the U.S. and South Korea, denouncing the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation.

Moon and Trump are set to meet on Tuesday in Washington before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Although a historic inter-Korean summit in late April raised hopes of reconciliation, North Korea showed a dramatic change in tone in recent days.

North Korea's chief negotiator Ri Son Gwon said on Thursday it would not hold talks with South Korea unless their demands were met, taking issue with the U.S.-South Korean air combat drills known as Max Thunder. It came a day after it threatened to pull out of the summit with the United States.

Further dampening the mood, a spokesman for North Korea's Red Cross Society demanded on Saturday that South Korea's government should send North Korean female restaurant workers back to their home "without delay" to show the will to improve the inter-Korean ties, the North's Korea Central News agency said.

North Korea calls South Korea 'ignorant, incompetent' in meltdown over days-old military drills

  North Korea calls South Korea 'ignorant, incompetent' in meltdown over days-old military drills Ri Son Gwon, the top North Korean negotiator, slammed South Korea for participating in military drills with the U.S.Ri Son Gwon, the North Korean negotiator, slammed South Korea for participating in military drills with the U.S., following up a series of statements on Tuesday when Pyongyang canceled talks with Seoul and threatened to cancel a planned summit with President Donald Trump.

A dozen North Korean restaurant workers came to South Korea in 2016 from China, and North Korea had urged to send them back claiming they were abducted by the South, even though the South has said the 12 workers decided to defect of their own free will.

Lee Dong-bok, a researcher at New Asia Research Institution, said part of the reason for the North's demands of the repatriation is to divide South Korea's public opinion over the 12 workers.

"It is also to pressure the Moon government to agree to its demand so that South Korea can keep up the momentum for the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting," Lee said.

(Reporting by Jeongmin Kim; Additional reporting by Christine Kim; Writing by Jane Chung; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Korean leaders meet after Trump threatens to quit Kim summit .
North and South Korea's leaders held surprise talks on Saturday after President Donald Trump cast an uncertain pall over the turbulent Korean peninsula by cancelling a historic summit with Pyongyang only to suggest it might still go ahead. Photos released by South Korea showed President Moon Jae-in shaking hands with his counterpart Kim Jong Un on the North Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone separating the two nations.

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