Anti-nuke Nobel victor ICAN offer to pay Trump-Kim summit

Syria's President Assad 'to visit North Korea'

The June summit will be the first-ever meeting between a USA president and a North Korean leader.

Citing an unidentified intelligence official, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said No Kwang Chol, first vice minister in the defense ministry, had replaced Pak Yong Sik as the defense chief, while Ri Yong Gil had returned as the army's chief of general staff in place of Ri Myong Su.

These changes are in addition to Army Gen. Kim Su-gil's replacement of Kim Jong-gak as director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army.

""This is a historic meeting, and once in a generation opportunity" to help establish a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons," Kawasaki told Reuters by telephone from Tokyo.

The young leader was seen to have been overseeing Kim Yong-chol's US visit last week, as well as monitoring the talks between American and North Korean diplomats to finalize an agenda for the summit, ongoing at the Panmunjom, the truce village at the inter-Korean border.

Professor Kim Yong-hyun of Seoul's Dongguk University told the Washington Post that North Korea appears to be "pursuing a new policy to become a developing country without nuclear weapons, rather than a poor country with nuclear weapons".

Analysts say the shake-up allows Kim Jong Un and the ruling party to tighten control over the army and neuter its influence, at a time when North Korea is seeking global engagement, domestic development and a denuclearisation deal with the United States. It quoted Assad as saying: 'I am going to visit and meet Kim Jong-un'.

Top Democrats on Monday staked out their ground for a nuclear deal with North Korea, vowing to push back on any sanctions relief if an agreement does not meet the five pillars they laid out.

At Panmunjeom, the two sides appeared to focus on narrowing their differences over how Pyongyang should achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization and what the United States should give in return to guarantee the North Korean regime's security.

The Kremlin's invitation comes days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited North Korea.

This concern has been prompted by the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump did not talk about human rights issues at a Friday meeting with Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea.

The letter suggests they intend to undermine any sort of deal made in the Trump-Kim summit next week.

Sanctions make it very hard for senior North Korean officials to travel overseas, and Madden said Kim will also not wish to impose too much of a burden on the Singapore government, which will have to deal with onerous security arrangements caused by both leaders' presence in the city.

North Korea made no immediate reference to any military changes, and it remains hard to assess whether the shake-up could signal a significant change in North Korean policies.