Saturday, 20 October, 2018

North Korean officials removed as Kim changes direction

Some US companies say Trump's tariffs are already hurting their business Getty Images
Leonard Rios | 05 June, 2018, 02:08

Next week's historic summit between Trump and Kim is expected to focus on denuclearization and the Hermit Kingdom's role in the global economy.

South Korea's unification ministry confirmed Kim Su Gil's appointment but declined to comment on the others.

At the US-North Korea summit, Pyongyang's denuclearisation will be high on the agenda, with reports Mr Kim's reshuffle is a sign he is prepared to tame the military.

Madden said any similar attempt to wrest power during the North Korean leader's absence was unlikely, pointing to Kim's previous trips to Beijing and Dalian in China, which went off without a hitch.

Trump on Friday revived the summit after cancelling it a week earlier.

It's unclear just who will pick up the tab, however ― though there appears to be no shortage of willing sponsors.

Trump met with former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol for about 90 minutes Friday - the highest-level North Korean official to visit the USA in 18 years.

According to Yonhap, the posts to have been replaced at the Korean People's Army are the first vice minister, the chief of general staff and the head of the General Political Bureau (GPB).

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Washington insiders believe there was anger and growing frustration among Kim's top officials over his handling of talks with the US.

North Korea's state media revealed in late May that Kim Su Gil has replaced Kim Jong Gak as the director of the military's powerful General Political Bureau (GPB).

The US-North Korea summit will take place in Singapore on 12 June.

Top Democrats on Monday staked out their ground for a nuclear deal with North Korea, vowing to push back on any sanctions relief if an agreement does not meet the five pillars they laid out.

Asked whether the United States maximum-pressure campaign against North Korea would continue, Ms Huckabee Sanders said USA policy had not changed and Washington continued to maintain tough sanctions on Pyongyang.

Both countries have faced global isolation - North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, and Syria over its tactics during its bloody civil war.

"They're all young but capable people", Yang said. "North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs".

In addition to being hardcore loyalists, Madden said the three officers were experienced in dealing with foreigners, which was seen as a plus point.

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