Japan reports suspicions of China engaging in smuggling trade with North Korea

Japan reports suspicions of China engaging in smuggling trade with North Korea

North Korea suggested that Trump made this decision based on Pyongyang's unwillingness to unilaterally denuclearize, as the DPRK has continuously stressed that it was not interested in unilateral demands from the United States on denuclearization and would negotiate with Trump only if he is seeking to improve bilateral relations.

"We did think the detonation would only affect a small part, but many are now saying the explosion's impact was greater than surmised", the source said, adding ordinary North Koreans thought it was "fascinating" foreign reporters flew into the country to witness the dismantlement.

North Korean sources previously told RFA's Korean Service that citizens have been largely unmoved by, if not mistrustful of, state propaganda heralding Kim's diplomatic achievements in the nuclear-armed, sanctions-hit state.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim Jong Un is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the global legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

Their talks will be aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later canceled by Trump, can be restored, USA officials have said.

But Kim, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about "U.S. hegemonism", a comment that may complicate the discussions in NY.




Kim is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S.in 18 years.

Trump cautioned that while he hopes a planned summit in Singapore on June 12 between the USA and North Korea is still in the cards, he wants it to be a "meaningful" meeting. The two planned a "day full of meetings" Thursday, the White House said.

Meanwhile, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo held what he characterized as "substantive talks" with a group of Pyongyang's high-ranking officials led by Kim Yong Chol, during which they discussed priorities for potential summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slated for June 12.

Activist Kim Young-hwan speaks at a symposium on North Korean human rights in Seoul on May 31, 2018. The last official of his stature to visit the United States was Jo Myong Rok, the late first vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, who visited Washington in 2000, South Korea's Unification Ministry said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has maintained a hard line against the North, calling for continued sanctions and a maximum-pressure campaign on Pyongyang.

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