Trump to press South Korea's Moon before summit with North

Foreign reporters prepare to cover North Korea's nuclear test site dismantlement at a hotel in Wonsan

As US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepare to meet, are they talking about same thing when it comes to denuclearization?

North Korea invited worldwide media to observe the destruction with explosives of the Punggye-ri site, but not experts as initially promised, casting doubt over how verifiable the plan is and whether it will be safe.

Some in the U.S. government worry that Moon may be prepared to accept a less-stringent version of North Korean denuclearisation than Washington wants.

Pompeo later praised China by saying it has offered "historic assistance" in the pressure campaign against North Korea.

"We will not just sit by and watch the North Korean women workers be sent into Kim Jong Un's hands", said a protester from one of the groups, Fighters for Free North Korea. Last week, the North suddenly threatened not to participate and cancelled talks with the South, accusing Washington of wanting to corner it and force it unilaterally to give up its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea had earlier refused to grant entry visas to the South Korean journalists, raising worries about the prospect for recently improving ties.

Punggye-ri has been the site of all six of the North's nuclear tests, the latest and by far the most powerful in September previous year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb.

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Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert welcomed the North Korean announcement of plans to dismantle its nuclear test site. "If the U.S.is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment", Gwan said, "we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and can not but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit."So, if President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Zucker: Trump "secretly watching CNN" all day and night GOP candidate behind "Deportation Bus" loses in gubernatorial bid Penn to Hewitt: Mueller probe born out of "hysteria" MORE can not come back to Washington with a nuclear agreement in hand, he need not worry - and neither does he need to resort to more forceful military options, which would very likely include the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the use of the very nuclear weapons Washington hopes to destroy". North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests at its Punggye-ri site, the first in 2006. Sceptics say the site has already outlived its usefulness with six successful nuclear tests in the bag and can quickly be rebuilt if needed.

In an about-face, the North accepted the list of the South Korean journalists earlier in the day.

Travel will involve an 11-hour train ride, a four-hour bus journey and then a hike of another hour, a reporter with Russia's RT said on Twitter. The eight South Koreans arrived in Wonsan on Wednesday, where they were forced to leave their radiation detectors, satellite phones and Bluetooth mouses before they all set off for the test site, according to South Korean media pool reports.

Reporters from China, Britain, the USA and Russian Federation on Tuesday flew from Beijing to the North Korean city of Wonsan, from where they will travel for some 20 hours up the east coast by train and bus to the remote test site.

"I think there has been semblance of understanding between the two Koreas for resuming the talks", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies. Pyongyang has expressed a willingness of a phased wind-down, but never promised a fast shutdown, experts said.

But he said he was displeased by China's softening of border enforcement measures against North Korea. "That doesn't mean it won't work out over a period of time. They must know what price they will be made to pay", the commentary said, using the North's traditional lowercase "s" when describing the South.

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