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North Korea media breaks tradition to report summit

12 June 2018

By sitting down with an American president - a longtime goal of North Korea's government - Kim's regime is advancing its effort to establish its "reputation, respect, and credibility as a nuclear weapon state", Green said.

Mr. Trump's actions led to an extraordinary juxtaposition: an abrupt public feud and deterioration of ties between the USA and Canada at the same moment as warm words and a detente between the US and North Korea. He was a former spy chief, reportedly behind assassination attempts in South Korea, the sinking of a South Korean navy ship, and the Sony hack.

Mr. Trump's top economic adviser, Lawrence Kudlow, said Mr. Trudeau's press conference had been a "betrayal" because Mr. Trump couldn't afford to show any weakness before his meeting with North Korea. The move was in reaction to North Korea's criticism of United States vice president Mike Pence's statement that the country could meet the same fate as Libya if it failed to meet a nuclear deal with the US.

"He is the director of the United Front Department, which handles inter-Korean affairs". It will be interesting to see how much he participates in the bilateral meeting and whether North Korea takes issue with his presence. "[South Korean President] Moon Jae-in has been their main diplomatic focus throughout 2018", Mr Pollack said. "It's not a one meeting deal", he said.

So why did he head to the USA, especially when working level talks were already underway at Panmunjom in Korea?

"Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels", Lee Yun-keol, a former member of a North Korean Guard Command unit who defected, told The Washington Post.

It's not unusual for North Korean state media to belatedly publish news about major events.

In an op-ed, the Washington Post emphasises how the USA president "has shown an ability to develop seemingly good relationships with some world leaders, and then to undermine them with unexpected words or actions". He was accompanied by his sister Kim Yo Jong and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

"The South can not simply afford to take care of the North economically", she said.

"He is relatively reasonable and well-connected with the top leadership."

The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the USA president.

The only logical explanation for Rodman's visit to Singapore would have to do with the fact that he has been closely associated with Jong Un and Trump in the past. As I recently wrote, while certain sanctions on North Korea are discretionary, a key 2016 law specifically obligates the president to sanction people and entities complicit in human rights abuses in North Korea - not just those involved in weapons proliferation - and the Trump administration legally can't suspend sanctions more broadly unless North Korea implements key human rights reforms.

North Korea media breaks tradition to report summit