North Korea shakes up military leadership as Trump-Kim summit nears

Kim Jong-un smiling

Kim Jong-un smiling

The military moves also may be viewed as another step by Kim to underscore his willingness to make bold internal changes ahead of the scheduled June 12 summit with Trump in Singapore.

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump hold their summit at an exclusive venue in Singapore, one of the priciest destinations in Asia, they will no doubt run up quite a bill.

The island of Sentosa and several offshore islands have been gazetted as a special event area for the upcoming summit between USA president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 12 June. Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger MORE (D-N.J.) said that while the weapons program is a priority, an ideal agreement would also cover North Korea's human rights abuses. Bolton, who has plenty to say about North Korea, did not.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Donald Trump has clearly spelt out that he wants to denuclearise North Korea.

Asked about the contents of Mr Kim's letter, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to "get into the specifics of the letter" but added "we feel like things are continuing to move forward and good progress has been made".

Speculation over how North Korea will handle the costs for Kim's June 12 meeting with Trump has taken off after a Washington Post report cited two anonymous USA officials suggesting the Trump administration has been "seeking a discreet way" to help pay Kim's hotel bill.

He stressed that the Singapore meeting is part of a "process" that will go on for some time: "I told them today, 'Take your time".

The Kremlin's invitation comes days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited North Korea.

"He has chosen the route of pursuing denuclearization and a peace treaty through dialogue, and is appointing a new generation of military leaders to set the tone for his vision", Kim Yong Hyun said.

Trump also said that there would be no new sanctions while the talks are taking place, although the White House was at pains to say existing economic sanctions will not be removed either.

President Donald Trump's hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, infuriated North Korea with a unusual and threatening comment about denuclearization in May, and now he seems excluded from the talks.

As Washington pursues a negotiated end to Pyongyang's nuclear program, USA officials believe there was some dissent in the military about Kim's negotiations with South Korea and the United States, a complete reversal of the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons and historic hostility. The US already has about 30,000 forces in South Korea along its border of North Korea.

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