Japan offers to host second US-North Korea summit

Frederick Owens
October 11, 2018

The one-time Houston Rockets center took to the court after a friendly game between Chinese and North Korean players Tuesday, offering congratulations to both sides.

Washington has consistently stressed that sanctions will be remain in place until North Korea relinquishes its nuclear arsenal, with the State Department on Monday insisting that the US and China were "unified" on the pressure campaign against the DPRK.

On Wednesday, China released a document that called for a relaxation of sanctions against North Korea - a key part of the Trump administration's pressure on North Korea.

Trump's response when he was asked about Kang's comments implied friction between the allies over the pace of inter-Korean engagement amid concerns in Washington that North Korea is lagging behind in its supposed promise to denuclearize. South Korea's Unification Ministry on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, said the water is being supplied to a liaison office between the countries that opened in Kaesong in September 2018 and has been provided to the town's residents as well. The sanctions severed all trade and investment ties with North Korea.

The Associated Press reports that the Vatican has yet to comment on the pending invite or on the Pope's likelihood of accepting Kim's invitation.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman presented "Trump: The Art of the Deal" to Kim Il Guk, North Korea's minister of Physical Culture and Sports, in 2017.

"To permit religious freedoms would undermine the cult of personality that has been built up around the Kim family, so this offer is exclusively created to deflect criticisms over human rights", he said.

Rodman has since traveled to North Korea four more times. There was speculation during that trip that Rodman might be acting as an unofficial envoy for the Trump administration, though members of the administration denied this.

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Trump said this week the U.S. had "made incredible progress" in dealing with North Korea, saying: "You've got no rockets flying". "If Trump wants the credit, he can take all the credit. I just want them to talk", Rodman said during a television interview hours after the summit.

The U.S. was apparently also angered by the expansion of a no-fly zone in the DMZ.

Trump said that his second meeting with Kim would be in "probably a different location" than Singapore.

It has always been a delicate balancing act, but a policy gap - the much feared "wedge" - now appears to be widening between South Korea and the United States over the issue of North Korean sanctions.

She suggested instead the dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor complex - an idea North Korea has put forward, in return for vague, reciprocal United States steps.

On Wednesday, China, Russia and North Korea released a joint statement that called on the U.N. Security Council to "adjust" the current sanctions on North Korea.

In a statement released Wednesday by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a round of tripartite meetings in Moscow, the three ministers also expressed their support for ongoing talks between the DPRK and both the USA and South Korea.

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