For a number of reasons - North Korean obfuscation, domestic U.S. politics, problems with verification and the inherent paranoia embedded in the Kim regime's very character - Washington and Pyongyang have yet to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that provides both sides with what they desperately want: Normalization and permanent security for the North and the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization (CVID) for the U.S. The ultimate goal for the United States is the same as it has always been since the early 1990s.
The journalists from the MBC television network and News1 wire service took a special government flight later on Wednesday to go to the North's northeastern coastal city of Wonsan, according to Seoul's Foreign Ministry.
President Trump's admission that his much-anticipated June 12 bilateral meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may not happen is evidence of a new messaging strategy by his administration after miscalculating what Pyongyang was willing to give - and claiming victory before it was won. Trump said he was displeased by China's softening of border enforcement measures against North Korea.
The invitation to witness the dismantling of the Punggye-ri site was seen as an indication that North Korea's unexpected offer to end its nuclear tests still held despite renewed diplomatic uncertainty.
On Seoul's streets Wednesday, South Koreans were divided on whether they thought Pyongyang was honest. He asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him.
A senior South Korean official told reporters on condition of anonymity: "Given the North's thinking and statements alike, we would be able to turn around the mood after the Max Thunder drills from the current standoff and restart dialogue". The ceremony will take place somewhere between May 23 and 25.
North Korea invited global media to observe the destruction with explosives of the Punggye-ri site, but not experts as initially promised, casting doubt over how verifiable the plan is and whether it will be safe.
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The decision about whether the June 12 meeting in Singapore between Kim and President Donald Trump happens is "ultimately up to Chairman Kim", Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Instead, it has become more of a crisis session after Pyongyang last week threatened to pull out of the planned summit.
Experts are divided over whether the demolition will render the site useless.
But the South Korean press corps were left off the flight after Seoul said they had received no word from Pyongyang in recent days on whether their reporters had been accepted.
It remains uncertain when the train will depart for the nuclear-testing site in Kilju, North Hamgyong Province.
The North pulled out of planned peace talks with the South last week, objecting to long-scheduled joint military exercises between USA and Republic of Korea forces. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests at its Punggye-ri site, the first in 2006.
Reporters from China, Britain, the United States and Russian Federation yesterday flew from Beijing to the North Korean city of Wonsan, from where they will travel for some 20 hours up the east coast by train and bus to the remote test site. But Kim Ye-seul, a nutritionist in her early thirties, said she didn't feel North Korea should be made to abandon its nuclear weapons.
"When Bolton gave an interview and talked about following a Libya model, Pyongyang said, 'I don't think so, that ain't happening". The US has said it was going ahead with the preparation.