Kim Summit 2.0 in Vietnam

Daniel Coats director of National Intelligence testifies on worldwide threats during a Senate Intelligence Committee

Last June's summit - the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - produced a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats also said that USA national security is threatened by climate change, while Trump thinks that global warming is not real.

Biegun also plans to meet with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon during his stay in Seoul.

A second Trump-Kim meeting is expected in February. He later suggested he would reveal those details in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The U.S. intelligence chiefs said the Islamic State group would continue to pursue attacks from Syria and Iraq against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States. Both sides have said they look forward to such a meeting.

The North is also apparently demanding the inclusion of a multilateral peace treaty on the summit agenda. "But they can also be mutually reinforcing", he said.

"After meeting with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel and other top security officials, Trump said they told him their testimony at the Senate hearing had been "mischaracterized" by the news media".

The document the two leaders signed at the previous one has been criticized for being too vague, and analysts say that the future of diplomatic talks is riding on this meeting to achieve more concrete outcomes. "Dems put us in a bad place - but now good!"

But Trump wants this the conflict with North Korea to end, he added, saying, "It is over".

Speaking in the Oval Office, the president said he would soon announce the date and location of a planned summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

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He also said that the USA was willing to take parallel steps to improve relations with North Korea, but sanctions and pressure also appeared to be a key and a remaining element of their approach.

During an inter-Korean summit in September, North Korea's Kim expressed willingness to close Yongbyon if the United States took corresponding action.

"What we're talking about is simultaneously looking at ways to improve relations, looking at ways to advance a more stable and peaceful, and ultimately, a more legal peace regime on the Korean peninsula - how we advance denuclearization".

Trump has given the Pentagon about four months to withdraw USA troops from Syria, backtracking from his abrupt December order for a pullout within 30 days. "It has never been discussed", the envoy said.

North Korea has complained that the U.S. has done little to reciprocate for its actions so far to dismantle some weapons facilities and freeze its weapons testing. Trump also made no mention about the USIC assessment that climate change is a threat to USA national security.

He said he was making "tremendous progress" with North Korea.

The "Worldwide Threat Assessment" report on which Coats based his testimony said US intelligence continues to "observe activity inconsistent with" full nuclear disarmament by the North.

North Korea watchers believe the regime is foremost interested in easing global sanctions, which were tightened in 2017 after the regime's missile and nuclear tests raised fears of a new war.

Kim Hyok Chol, a former ambassador to Spain, Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries, has taken over the role of Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, according to the sources knowledgeable about U.S.

Biegun said the US still does not know what those measures would be, but hopes to find out soon.


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