Trump weighing political risks of North Korea meeting

Trump-XI Jinping

Trump-XI Jinping

-North Korea summit, President Donald Trump pushed Monday for China to continue "strong & tight" trade sanctions against Kim Jong Un's regime until a possible accord over the North's nuclear program.

[President Trump's] aides have grown concerned that the president - who has said that "everyone thinks" he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts - has signaled that he wants the summit meeting too much. As multiple State Department sources have told me, US demands that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons were always going to be a nonstarter for Kim.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet next month to negotiate a deal that could avert nuclear war.

Analysts at the US -based North Korea-monitoring website 38 North appeared to back up Kim's claim in a April 30 report saying they see evidence that "the two mountainous areas accessible by the South and West Portals remain viable, and could support future underground nuclear testing if there were to be a political decision to do so".

President Donald Trump is less than one month away from making history as the first sitting United States president to meet a sitting North Korean leader - but it's increasingly looking as if he's ill-prepared and sailing toward embarrassment.

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"We have seen a repeated pattern of North Korea's tactic of negotiations, which tends to drag the time until the very last minute when they decide what they can accept and do not", Oh says.

He added that he believes Kim Jong Un is trying to "stall" for time.

Going into the North Korea meeting, senior administration officials say, the president has been nearly singularly focused on the pageantry of the summit -including the suspenseful roll-out of details. "It increasingly looks like the Moon administration overstated North Korea's willingness to deal".

Moon will return to South Korea early Thursday. Perhaps he even had dreams of making Jared Kushner viceroy of North Korea, while Ivanka started up a new clothing factory with a fresh source of cut-rate labor.

Trump has often talked up his work on North Korea, crediting himself with creating the conditions for talks through a hardline policy, but his self-congratulatory tweets could come back to haunt him.

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"The North Koreans could certainly see an opportunity - one that they have never seen with a US President before - but they will also have seen how Trump can simply walk away from a nuclear treaty with Iran". Trump's main achievement on North Korea thus far has been getting China to adhere to global sanctions. "And for the United States, China can also be a guarantor that if there is an agreement, that the agreement is effectively implemented by the North Koreans".

"I do not worry about Bolton", said Moon Chung-in, a usually outspoken adviser to the South Korean president.

Ankit Panda of Asia-Pacific affairs magazine The Diplomat reported that a US intelligence assessment determined it would take mere "weeks to months" for Pyongyang to reverse course.

The better part of Trump's response to the North Korean threat to "reconsider the summit" was that he issued a stern warning that if the denuclearisation talks collapse, the ongoing maximum pressure campaign against the Pyongyang regime would continue to be in place and it could face the same fate as Libya.

Earlier this month, with only weeks until the historic summit, North Korea flipped on the US and South Korea, blasting them both with a series of complaints that seemed like a tantrum.

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Jane Nakano, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Trump administration could contribute to that.

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