China says it hopes US-North Korea summit can proceed smoothly

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White House aides are preparing to travel to Singapore this weekend for a crucial meeting with North Korean officials to discuss the agenda and logistics for the summit, USA officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The idea that Kim would go into a summit with Trump without at least consulting North Korea's most important quasi-ally borders on the absurd.

No weapons inspectors or nonproliferation experts have been invited to attend the event, which North Korea has said would "ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test".

The demolition is due to take place sometime between Wednesday and Friday, depending on the weather.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday there was a "substantial chance" the summit would not take place. "But there is a good chance that we'll have the meeting".

Mr Trump said he hoped that Chinese President Xi Jinping was committed to the goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, calling him a world-class poker player.

The US secretary of state told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that he was "hopeful" that the meeting would go ahead.

"We will apply financial pressure, coordinate with our (Department of Defense) colleagues on deterrence efforts, support the Iranian people, and hold out the prospect of a new deal for Iran - if it changes its behavior", Pompeo said Wednesday.

"We still have a lots of work to do to find common ground", Pompeo said.

Both parties to the talks are invested in holding the meeting, with Kim seeing an opportunity for global legitimacy and Trump the prospect of securing Korean stability - and perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize.

"So I can't say that I'm happy about it", Trump said in presence of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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Trump said preparations were "moving along" for the talks with Kim, but suggested there may not be enough time for the two sides to agree on mutually agreeable parameters.

"I don't really have any faith", said Korean-American businessman Peter Chung.

If the summit is called off or fails, it would be a major blow to what Trump supporters hope will be the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency.

"I have no doubt that you will be able to. accomplish a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past".

Despite easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea has taken issue with Seoul's military exercises with Washington. "And if we don't, we won't have the meeting", he told reporters, without elaborating on what those conditions might be.

Sceptics have said the move to destroy the site is an empty concession by Kim as the site is already suffering from "tired mountain syndrome" and may be obsolete. His spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Trump was referring to a commitment to seriously discuss denuclearization.

The White House was caught off guard when, in a dramatic change of tone, North Korea last week condemned the latest U.S. The North also threatened to abandon the planned Trump-Kim meeting over US insistence on rapidly denuclearizing the peninsula, issuing a harshly worded statement that the White House dismissed as a negotiating ploy.

"The government will swiftly carry out necessary measures for the journalists such as granting approvals for visiting North Korea and providing transportation", the ministry said.

"I will guarantee his safety, yes".

Reporters from news outlets from the other countries said on Twitter they arrived in the North Korean port city of Wonsan on Tuesday.

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