The President says Kim would remain in power if he abandons his nuclear weapons program but warns that North Korea could be 'decimated' if he balks at a deal

President Donald Trump on Thursday said US and North Korean officials are continuing to prepare for a scheduled diplomatic summit next month, even as North Korea threatened in recent days to pull out of what would be a historic first meeting between a North Korean leader and US president.

Source: CNN

North Korea Wavers on US Summit, Accentuating the Gap Over Nuclear Weapons

  1. North Korea Wavers on US Summit, Accentuating the Gap Over Nuclear Weapons  Wall Street Journal
  2. North Korea Revives an Old Tactic in Threat to Cancel Talks  New York Times
  3. GOP rep: North Korea likely ‘doing a little bluster now’  The Hill
  4. Americans Support Talks With North Korea, Remain Skeptical of Outcome  Voice of America (blog)
  5. President Trump is shaking things up in Asia. And it just might work.  Washington Post
  6. Full coverage

Source: Google News

US pressures North Korea to ship nuclear weapons overseas before sanctions lifted, according to reports  

US pressures North Korea to ship nuclear weapons overseas before sanctions lifted, according to reports  The United States has told North Korea that is must start shipping nuclear weapons, fissile material and some of its long-range missiles out of the country within a couple of months of the June summit between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and President Donald Trump, according to South Korean media. The report by Yonhap News echoes comments by John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, who on Sunday reiterated that Pyongyang could expect no assistance or relaxation of sanctions until it fully dismantles its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Speaking on ABC News, Mr Bolton said, “I think the implementation of this decision means getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge, Tennessee”. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a nuclear research and storage facility that already holds key components from Libya’s nuclear weapons programme. Yonhap said Washington’s demand was delivered to North Korea as part of the preparatory talks ahead of the summit meeting in Singapore between Mr Kim and Mr Trump, with the US stating that sanctions will remain in place until the North complies. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are due to meet on 12 June in Singapore Credit: Reuters/KCNA Pyongyang’s reaction was not known, although there have been other reports that the regime is resisting requests that it destroy all its nuclear weapons data and send an estimated 10,000 nuclear scientists abroad. Failing to destroy the accumulated knowledge would permit the North to carry out further research in secret and resume a nuclear weapons programme at short notice, analysts point out, while it would also enable the North to sell atomic data to other nations or terrorist groups. North Korea has already offered to abolish its nuclear weapons capability and has invited foreign journalists to its Punggye-ri nuclear testing ground next week to observe the destruction of the site. Washington’s insistence on further steps to denude the North of its nuclear capability suggest that the US is still unsure of just how honest and open Pyongyang is being, coupled with lingering concerns that inspectors may not be able to locate all the regime’s research facilities. Mr Bolton and Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, both reinforced Washington’s message that North Korea could reap financial rewards if Kim Jong-un was willing to fully dismantle his nuclear weapons programme. Mr Pompeo told Fox News that if a deal was reached between Mr Kim and President Trump at their summit in Singapore, that “private sector Americans” may be allowed to “help build out the energy grid that needs enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea”. North Korea’s nuclear history: key moments Americans could also help with investment in infrastructure and agriculture to help feed the North Korean population, he added. The secretary of state, who appears to be building a rapport with the North Korean leader after meeting him twice in just two months, said that Mr Kim is “paying attention to things the world is saying”, adding that he would likely be watching Fox News. In a separate appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Mr Pompeo also floated the possibility of “sanctions relief” as a further incentive, which jarred somewhat with Mr Bolton’s messaging on CNN that Pyongyang shouldn’t look for economic aid from the US. John Bolton has brought a hawkish bent to White House foreign policy Credit: Blooberg However, Mr Bolton, with a reputation taking a hardline approach to North Korea, also struck a positive tone, commenting that the country’s prospects were “unbelievably strong if they’ll commit to denuclearisation.” He added: “I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way that South Korea does”. Speaking later to ABC, he explained that President Trump was forgoing “months and months of preparation” for his June summit with Mr Kim because it would interfere with his innate ability to “size up” the North Korean leader.

Source: Yahoo! News

Saudi Arabia set to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran restarts program

  1. Saudi Arabia set to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran restarts program  CNN
  2. Missiles Fired at Saudi Arabia Signal Support for Iran by Its Proxies  Wall Street Journal
  3. Iran’s supreme leader says Trump is making demands of Gulf allies: ‘The US wants to own humiliated slaves’  Washington Post
  4. Father Raymond J. de Souza: Scrapping the Iran deal a blow to diplomats, not peace  National Post
  5. Gulf Arab allies hail triumph after US quits Iran deal  Reuters
  6. Full coverage

Source: Google News

Putin, newly inaugurated, reviews Russia's 'invincible weapons' on Red Square

Putin, newly inaugurated, reviews Russia's 'invincible weapons' on Red SquareBy Christian Lowe and Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Vladimir Putin watched advanced jets carrying a hypersonic missile he has touted as invincible scream over Red Square on Wednesday, days after the start of his fourth presidential term. Part of an annual event marking the Soviet Union’s World War Two victory over the Nazis, Putin looked on as thousands of troops marched past him and columns of tanks rumbled across the famous square in a show of military might reminiscent of those displayed during the Cold War. Putin reviewed the parade from a tribune packed with Soviet war veterans, some of whom wore rows of campaign medals and clutched red roses.

Source: Yahoo! News

Pentagon Wants To Deploy 'Low-Yield' Nuclear Weapons To Deter Russia From Similar Ones

Even as the Trump administration excoriates Iran and North Korea on nuclear arms, Congress is set to fund a new, “low-yield” atomic weapon. The Pentagon says one is needed to plausibly deter any plans by Russia to use smaller nukes. Critics say such a “useable” nuke would increase, not decrease, the likelihood of the nuclear war that military planners say they want to avoid.

Source: NPR