Foreign Media Head to North Korea to Cover Nuclear Test Site Shutdown

North Korea summit: Pence warns Kim Jong-un not to 'play Trump'

Journalists from the Associated Press, CNN, CBS, Russia Today and Chinese state media outlets were among those seen checking in at Beijing Capital International Airport to catch a 9:00 a.m. (0100 GMT) Air Koryo flight, which took off at 9:48 a.m., according to the airport's website.

Invited foreign journalists are en route to view the closing of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, scheduled to happen between Wednesday and Friday, depending on weather.

Skepticism about the North's intentions have mounted in recent weeks after Kim's government pulled out of planned peace talks with the South last week, objecting to long-scheduled joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces. The South's Yonhap news agency reported the North refused to accept a list of the reporters on Monday, making it "technically hard' for the South Korean media to join the event". -South Korean military drills that were taking place.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a champion of talks between the USA and North Korea, will look to restore momentum for an unprecedented summit between the foes in a White House visit on Tuesday. He said if an agreement is reached, China, Japan and South Korea would invest large sums to "make North Korea great".

Moon was scheduled to meet with ranking US officials prior to his bilateral meeting with Trump, according to officials from his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, in an apparent attempt to again convince Trump's aides that North Korea may be serious about giving up its nuclear ambitions.

The four countries invited by the North to send correspondents are four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which also includes France.

Trump tells North Korea that denuclearization will preserve its security
Trump said North Korean officials are discussing logistical details about the meeting with the U.S. "as if nothing happened ". Trump said he was not pursuing the " Libya model" in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

State media unleashed three strongly worded commentaries slamming Seoul and Washington for the maneuvers and demanding Seoul take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.

With just weeks to go and little clarity on what will be discussed or what happens if talks fail, some Korea watchers predict fireworks during Trump's talks with Moon. In his view, the North Koreans "have been pushing ahead". They made a decision to return to Seoul.

"I think a lot of people who were involved with the Roh administration are concerned about Bolton because he was such a neoconservative at the time, and it seems that he hasn't changed", said Dr Lee Geun, a professor of political science at Seoul National University. "We hope that the North Koreans are going to be transparent like they say they are and they are going to show us the nuclear test site and the dismantlement".

"If the North-South relations face a grave difficulty again owing to the provocation of human scum, the blame for it will be entirely on the South Korean authorities", the report said.

They indicated that they paid around $160 and that the expenses were similar to any other business trip.

There has been no indication that North Korea will cancel plans to dismantle the test site, an important gesture of goodwill.

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Trump raised the possibility that the meeting could be pushed back during a White House meeting with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, trying to coordinate strategy as concerns mounted over ensuring a successful outcome for the North Korea summit.

Optimism for next month's meeting in Singapore between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un was punctured last week by a North Korean threat to walk away if the USA makes a "one-sided demand" for the regime to surrender its nuclear weapons.

South Korean observers like Shin Chang-hoon also worry that Moon will push Trump to go ahead with a "ridiculous" summit because he has staked his career on inter-Korean peace.

The North previously said South Korean journalists would be allowed to attend this week's ceremony, as part of a series of ice-breaking diplomatic moves following a summit between the two country's leaders last month.

The North's official Rodong Sinmun in an English editorial on Tuesday continued it criticism of the United States for its "red herring" tricks to "bring down those countries incurring its displeasure".

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