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Trump to fulfill with South Korean president amid summit anxiousness

As President Trump reckons with the problem of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, he’ll sit down Tuesday with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea for a doubtlessly tense day of conferences. It ought to have been a day of evaluating notes along with his South Korean counterpart, who lately participated in a summit with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un on the finish of April. As a substitute, the assembly is assuming a special tone for Mr. Trump after North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ri Son Gwon, fired off a string of inflammatory statements in opposition to the U.S. final week.
 
Gwon acknowledged that the North would by no means alternate its nuclear program for financial support, insisted that the North is not going to comply with unilateral nuclear disarmament, and referred to as the South “ignorant and incompetent.” 

Administration sources affirm that Mr. Trump was incensed by Gwon’s incendiary missives, which got here simply weeks earlier than his deliberate assembly with Kim in Singapore subsequent month.

The administration can also be struggling to reconcile its targets with these of its regional allies, South Korea and Japan. Moon’s authorities is keen to ease sanctions on the North, whereas Mr. Trump needs to take care of the “most stress” marketing campaign he credit with bringing Kim to the negotiating desk. Japan, in the meantime, fears grand discount will proceed to go away them susceptible to North Korean aggression.
 
“It could simply be that the White Home wasn’t sufficiently steeped within the historical past of coping with North Korea to know the definitions of what North Korea is perhaps keen or not keen to do,” Bruce Klingner, a senior analysis fellow for Northeast Asia on the Heritage Basis, advised CBS Information.
 
“We noticed [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo and the White Home saying issues like. ‘North Korea is saying issues they’ve by no means mentioned earlier than,’ however actually, they’re saying the very same issues they’ve mentioned for 27 years of negotiations.”
 
Former administration officers and Korean specialists have repeatedly warned that North Korea won’t ever absolutely give up its nuclear weapons program and that the U.S. must make main concessions earlier than Pyongyang agrees to halt elements of it.
 
Whereas officers declare that Mr. Trump remains to be dedicated to the summit, sources near the administration affirm that the president, who has mused publicly about profitable a Nobel Peace Prize for his denuclearization efforts, will not be as within the trivialities of preparations for his excessive stakes assembly with Kim.
 
The North Korean chief, however, “may be very educated about these nuclear points whereas the president would not learn and he would not take heed to the briefings,” a supply near the administration advised CBS Information.
 
The Nationwide Safety Council didn’t reply to CBS Information’ request for touch upon the president’s preparations.
 
Governor Invoice Richardson, Ambassador to the United Nations beneath President Invoice Clinton, says that Pompeo, who has already met with Kim twice, ought to spearhead all negotiations main as much as Singapore.

“Trump ought to simply keep quiet and let Pompeo run the present and preserve your complete administration — together with the press secretary and some other spokesman — off the Sunday exhibits. That is the vital interval,” he advised CBS Information.  
 
The White Home’s disorganized messaging on the summit turned extra obvious after Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton on “Face the Nation” final month held up a “Libya mannequin” for nuclear disarmament with North Korea. This enraged North Korean officers, because the U.S. helped overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi lower than a decade after he agreed to give up his nuclear program. The White Home tried to stroll again Bolton’s feedback final week after North Korea threatened to name off the summit, and the president himself rejected the thought of modeling the plan on Libya.

“The Libyan mannequin will not be a mannequin that we have now in any respect once we are pondering of North Korea,” the president mentioned Thursday. “In Libya, we decimated that nation. That nation was decimated.”

Former authorities officers who’ve served beneath earlier presidents additionally say that bureaucratic points have hamstrung the White Home’s preparations and alienated allies.
 
“Our counterparts within the area are realizing that there are not any interlocutors which might be price participating with. They do not really feel assured that their message — until it is instantly delivered to Trump, Pompeo, Mattis or Bolton — they don’t belief that their messages are getting via or getting via precisely or that they’re getting altered messages again,” one other supply near the administration advised CBS Information.
 
“If the system was working, then there could be diplomatic channels, cables, conferences with ambassadors, workers preparation and that may be rolling up on each side. That is damaged proper now. So that you’re seeing extra leaders on planes,” the supply added.

To that finish, Japan’s Minister of Overseas Affairs will meet with Pompeo and Bolton later this week, after Mr. Trump’s assembly with Moon, in line with a White Home official. “The Japanese are very involved that Trump inspired them to take a really onerous line on Kim and now they really feel left on the market,” former Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill advised CBS Information.

A Japanese official advised CBS Information that he expects Mr. Trump to speak to Moon onerous line in opposition to the North remains to be mandatory.

“We must always proceed to place stress on North Korea till Kim initiates step one to confirm his intentions to dismantle his missile program,” the official mentioned.

“I hope that — I am certain that we’re on the identical web page,” the official added.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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