Last June, President Donald Trump was preparing to meet North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong Un for the “Singapore Summit”.

This June, there has been no discernible progress made toward officially ending the Korean War or transitioning North Korea to something other than a rogue regime. However, Trump remains optimistic and committed to ending the chaos from Korea.

Ahead of his trip to Iowa, Trump chatted with White House reporters and updated reporters on the state of diplomacy between the two nations.

While disclosing he had received another “very warm” letter from Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump said Tuesday he holds out hope for another summit with the North Korean leader.

Still seeking to reach some kind of agreement with Kim regarding his nuclear weapons programs, Trump also cited news reports that Kim’s assassinated half-brother Kim Jong Nam once served as a CIA asset in North Korea.

“I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” Trump said at the White House before leaving for campaign stops in Iowa.

Trump did not disclose the contents of his new letter from Kim, but said it was “beautiful” and that he still hopes for some kind of agreement over his nuclear weapons, possibly as part of a third summit with the North Korean leader.

​National security adviser John Bolton also indicates that a third summit is still on the table, despite the complete failure of the Hanoi Summit earlier this year.

“We’re ready when they are,” ​he told a business forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

​Bolton dismissed reports that a rift had developed between him and the president over recent missile tests by North Korea, blaming US adversaries for trying to stoke divisions.

​North Korea, Iran, China and Venezuela “have made a decision … to try to sow disinformation about the administration,” he said.

Disinformation about North Korea is also being published and promoted. One article that was share widely over social media had a general associated with the Hanoi Summit failure being fed to piranhas.

Seoul-based entrepreneur Andrew Salmon, who did an excellent analysis of recent stories related to executions and exiles, urges extreme caution when reading reports about North Korea.

…”[W]hen reporting on North Korea, it is critical for reporters to warn their readers about the impossibility of checking facts, and also to include expert commentary, for North Korea watchers have a nose for what is credible and what is not.

With all this said, I advise readers to turn their hogwash antennae to their most sensitive pitches when reading sensationalist reporting on North Korea.

Meanwhile, other experts on the region sense that there will be a third summit before the year ends.

“Trump wants a foreign policy victory and Kim needs sanctions relief,” said Frank Aum, senior expert on North Korea at the U.S. Institute of Peace, putting the probability of a third summit at “slightly better than 50-50.”

“The question is how desperate is each side for a deal,” he said.

…”I don’t think Trump wants to wait to the point that North Korea conducts a more provocative action that may require a more aggressive U.S. approach or suggest a failure in Trump’s North Korea policy before the elections,” Aum said.

He added that the current impasse over matching North Korea’s denuclearization steps with U.S. sanctions relief would ideally be broken during Trump’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul at the end of this month.

“Ideally … they will agree on greater flexibility, which they can then signal to Pyongyang,” Aum said.


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