Defense hawks aren't sure what to make of Trump's North Korea meeting

AnalysisMarch 10 2018 12:01am The Times North Korea talks Hopes rest on Trump’s ‘art of the deal’Richard Lloyd Parry

Will there be a breakthrough?

"We are seeing reactions to the Trump-Kim Jong Un's potential for a discussion prompting a risk-on trade and that is putting some pressure on safe haven assets", said a Hong Kong based trader.

Kim, on the other hand, seems desperate to save a sanctions-battered North Korean economy. After a year of tough talk, Trump, who before entering the White House had little foreign policy experience, will be sitting down in one of the most politically fraught discussions of his presidency and some hawks warn Trump needs ground rules first.

Instead, Kim only promised to stop nuclear and ballistic missile testing and said he accepted the right of the US and South Korea to move forward with joint military exercises later this year.

August 9: Trump says North Korea had best not make more threats or "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Sanders' comments Friday cast doubt on the President's much-ballyhooed agreement to meet the North Korean leader, with the White House appearing to impose new conditions that were not apparent a day earlier.

One of the biggest questions is where it will take place. If correct, this would amount to dramatic about-face of a firm position that its nuclear weapons programme, which it says it maintains for its own survival against USA aggression, is not for negotiation.

North Korea, however, did not confirm those concessions. Unlike past high-profile meetings between USA presidents and foreign leaders, the North Korea meeting was announced before many pertinent details surrounding the talks were ironed out or before any public lower-level diplomat discussions were established.

The meeting is planned for some time by May, but no time or place has been yet been agreed.

Over the past few years Rodman has made several trips to North Korea to meet with Kim.

Before accepting an invitation to an global summit it is customary for diplomatic staff to laboriously work through any technical hurdles on a topic. Ten months later, ballistic missile testing resumed, followed by another nuclear test.

In his Tweet Thursday night, Trump appeared eager to test his claimed deal-making skills in a meeting with Kim that would be the first between a US president and a North Korean leader.

The sudden news of the meeting between Kim and Trump came on Thursday night, as South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said that Kim extended an invitation to meet Trump, and the president agreed that the two would meet by May.

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The whirlwind events of the past months might be compared to 1994, when former U.S. President Bill Clinton concluded a major nuclear agreement between Washington and Pyongyang.

The two leaders prompted jitters around the world previous year as they exchanged bellicose insults over the North's attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

Pence added the USA had made "zero concessions" and "consistently increased the pressure" on the North Korean leader. But there was no arrangement before George W. Bush's election. The U.S.'s top diplomat said this week "we are a long way from negotiations" with North Korea.