North Korea replaces military leadership before Trump-Kim summit

North Korea replaces military leadership before Trump-Kim summit

North Korea has reportedly removed its top three military chiefs in what's being seen as an attempt by the leadership to continue the thawing of relations with the outside world ahead of this month's planned summit with the United States in Singapore.

They added that the GPB could be influential enough to resist leadership policy decisions and try to profit from future South Korean economic aid. Bolton, who has plenty to say about North Korea, did not.

Three of North Korea's top military officials have been replaced, a South Korean news agency reported Monday, marking an apparent shake-up in leader Kim Jong Un's inner circle before next week's planned summit with President Donald Trump.

"The nuclear weapons are a side issue", he said.

The move could also be about putting younger, more loyal officials around him while the country begins to focus on economic development, Michael Madden, a North Korea expert from 38 North, told Reuters.

Last month, the White House also unveiled commemorative coins for the summit, making for an awkward juxtaposition when Trump canceled the event on May 24, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility", although he subsequently revived the talks.

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While acknowledging the United States tariffs are causing friction, he said the members of the group agree on many other issues. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the response to the U.S. tariffs must be "measured and proportionate".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the two leaders would first meet at 9:00 am local time (6:30 am IST) and that President Trump was receiving daily briefings from his national security team.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has denied the U.S. would pay for North Korea in Singapore and said Washington wasn't asking anyone else to, either.

South Korea's Blue House on Monday quashed suggestions a formal end to the Korean War could be announced at the Trump-Kim summit.

It would be the first time North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has hosted a head of state since assuming power in 2011 and comes as he is involved in a flurry of diplomatic activity. Trump said it could be discussed prior to the summit. One of his aides was convicted and went to prison.

President Donald Trump's hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, infuriated North Korea with a odd and threatening comment about denuclearization in May, and now he seems excluded from the talks.

Mutinies inside the KPA are rare and very little information about them has leaked out to the wider world, but at least two are believed to have occurred - both against the regime of Kim Jong-un's late father, Kim Jong-il. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Kim last week, and a meeting between Kim and President Vladimir Putin is now on the cards. After assuming the leadership in North Korea in 2012, Kim had stated several times that he did not want his people to "tighten their belt" referring to the years of starvation that the country witnessed during his father's rule.

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