US warned of 'shattered dream' as Kim heads to summit
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US warned of 'shattered dream' as Kim heads to summit

North Korea's state news agency KCNA on Sunday announced Kim's departure by train, en route to talks in which the two leaders aim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. Pyongyang-based state media, however, hit out at US Democrats and American intelligence officials for "chilling the atmosphere" ahead of the second summit this week. Kim is accompanied by senior officials, including chief negotiator Kim Yong-chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, as well as his sister Kim Yo-jong for the February 27-28 summit. The meeting comes eight months after a first round of talks in Singapore, which has not made to any progress in Trump's express aim of denuclearization. Washington has said it will not lift sanctions unless a full denuclearization of North Korea is confirmed, but Pyongyang has vowed to keep its nuclear arsenal as long as there are threats from the US. North Korea has repeatedly denounced the Trump administration’s "gangster-like behavior," accusing Washington of betraying the spirit of the June summit by making unilateral demands while keeping its sanctions in place. The North is also uneasy with the US military presence on its backyards, but Trump stressed on Thursday that the issue of troop withdrawal was not “on the table” at the Hanoi summit. KCNA issued a commentary on Sunday, saying if Trump listened to skeptics at home, he could face a "shattered dream" and "miss the rare historic opportunity" to improve relations with North Korea.  Trump's opponents would bear the responsibility if the summit failed to achieve results, which would leave the US people exposed to "security threats", it said. KCNA also singled out US intelligence officials who recently testified to Congress that North Korea was unlikely to ever give up its entire nuclear arsenal. "It is absolutely as foolhardy as expecting to see a chicken turning into a phoenix to expect proper comment from the US intelligence agencies as they have it as their basic mission to claim white to be black and lie to be truth," the article said.  Three Democratic chairmen of House committees, in a letter to Trump on Thursday, said there were "ample reasons to be skeptical that Chairman Kim is committed to a nuclear-free North Korea." The KCNA article warned, "If the upcoming DPRK-US negotiations end without results as wished by the opponent forces, the US people will never be cleared of the security threats that threw them into panic and then responsibility will be placed on those due." Most of Trump's advisers have low expectations for the talks. Many have cautioned Trump that his second meeting is unlikely to generate as much interest as the first. Similarly, many advisers have cast lower expectations for what concessions North Korea is prepared to offer to move toward denuclearization. "I don't know that there's real high expectations for anything substantial for something to come out of the meeting," a person close to the White House told CNN. "There are very tempered and cautious expectations on what may come out of this," the person said.   The US insists that UN sanctions must remain in place until North Korea gives up its weapons, while Pyongyang wants them immediately eased. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday that Seoul was ready to resume inter-Korean cooperation as a “concession” if it helped the denuclearization of its northern neighbor.

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