N. Korea beefs up demands for repatriation of restaurant workers

North Korea to get relief only after verifiable step to denuclearisation

North Korea to get relief only after verifiable step to denuclearisation

Trump revived the June 12 summit in Singapore on Friday after canceling it a week earlier.

In preparation for the Singapore summit, Kim Jong Un has reportedly shaken up North Korea's military leadership-though it's not clear whether it's the kind of reshuffle that involves executions or mere demotions.

While excitement is building, the high stakes nature of the event means secrecy surrounds much of the planning.

"North Korea will receive relief only when it demonstrates verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearization", Mattis said.

North Korea has reportedly removed its top three military chiefs in what's being seen as an attempt by the leadership to continue the thawing of relations with the outside world ahead of this month's planned summit with the U.S. in Singapore.

All three of the new military officials have at least some experience interacting with foreign delegations, a factor that is critical as Kim seeks to line up meetings with leaders from the United States, China, Russia, and Syria.

But Kim has also conducted his own parallel outreach - holding two meetings with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, and sending envoys to meet with teams from the South on other initiatives such as possible gatherings for families separated by the Korean War more than 60 years ago.

When the impending meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did arise, conversations often centered less around the specifics of the meeting's likely agenda and more around where the leaders might choose to stay.


This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 24 April 2016 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) inspecting an underwater test-fire of a strategic submarine ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North. Picture: AFP PHOTO/KCNA via KNS.

The exact scope of the discussions planned for the Kim-Trump Singapore summit remains unclear.

Pyongyang and Damascus maintain good relations, and United Nations monitors have accused North Korea of cooperating with Syria on chemical weapons, a charge the North denies. "Kim Jong Un is going to put people in place he can trust, who are loyal to him".

South Korea's unification and defence ministries declined to confirm the report, while an official at the Unification Ministry said the government was watching the North's leadership very closely.

But the North has given no clear hints about how far it could go toward meeting US demands to dismantle its nuclear program.

"They're all young but capable people", Yang added.

In addition to being hardcore loyalists, Madden said the three officers were experienced in dealing with foreigners, which was seen as a plus point.

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