Banks: North Korea Looks Serious About Peace This Time

North Korea's sudden change in attitude was probably driven by the mounting worldwide sanctions imposed over its weapons programmes that had begun to take a toll on the livelihoods of ordinary citizens, Thae said.

Even if reports of the collapse of a major test site are true, Banks says, it suggests there's a path to denuclearization at next month's summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump. North Korea is desperately in need of energy. for their people.

The Chinese regime has always been North Korea's biggest trading partner, providing food, energy resources, and other supplies to the North.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said it was informed by the North on Tuesday that eight South Korean journalists will be invited. Some analysts question whether the dismantling of the site is aimed at destroying evidence.

The meeting would be the first time a sitting United States president and a North Korean leader would meet, and comes after Kim held a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April.

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There are some positive signs of a productive meeting between the two countries. The discussions may also include setting up working-level talks between the countries' sports officials over plans to field combined teams in some sports at the Asian Games in August.

The news of another China-North Korea powwow came just as Japanese media reported that North Korea expressed a lack of trust in the United States when Kim visited Beijing for a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on May 7 and 8. They also agreed to stop all hostile acts over "land, sea and air" that can cause military tensions and clashes, and to resume temporary reunions between war-separated families.

Besides making surprising advances in its missile capabilities in 2017, North Korea's leadership has focused on peddling its significance to its own society and culture: the regime revised its constitution in 2012 to tout its nuclear ambitions, and despite saying it no longer needs to conduct nuclear tests, its nuclear capabilities still remain an essential part of Kim's domestic and global clout.

Pyongyang for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

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