White House expects North Korea summit to happen despite Pyongyang's silence

Four days after the surprise announcement that President Trump has agreed to meet the North’s Kim Jong Un by May Washington has yet to hear directly from Pyongyang on the invitation extended by Kim via South Korean intermediaries

Asked in a Fox News interview due to air on Monday evening whether there was a real possibility of North Korea denuclearizing, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said: "We'll see, as the president often says".

This is all very odd and abrupt, but really does signal a potential change in policy; this can only be good for global relations and more importantly, the subjugated people of North Korea.

"We all agreed that we're optimistic about this opportunity, but we're determined, we're determined to keep up the campaign of maximum pressure until we see words matched with deeds and a real progress toward denuclearization", McMaster said.

When pressed by reporters if that meant that the meeting might not happen after all, Sanders underscored that the onus was on North Korea. He noted in a tweet that North Korea has refrained from such tests since November and said Kim "has promised not to do so through our meetings".

'I shudder to think what Trump might say and how Kim Jong-un would exploit that.

Trump administration officials say there will be no additional conditions imposed on North Korea before a first-ever meeting of the two nation's leaders.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said no location has been determined for the talks, but it's unlikely Mr. Trump will go to North Korea. The liberal media are not "getting" but attacking President Trump.

Potentially, the lack of big, headline-making naval assets to the Korean Peninsula during the US and South Korea's regularly scheduled military drills could ease tensions as the sides move towards Kim's first-ever meetings with heads of state.

It comes after Kim has referred to Trump as a "senile dotard" and Trump has repeatedly referred to the North Korean leader as "Little Rocket Man".

"The only thing that would take priority is if I have commitments here that I can not change", Faso said.

To take just one recent example: In 2003, Muammar Qaddafi took the US up on its "denuclearization for security" deal - only to be tortured and killed eight years later by rebels whom the USA government had backed.

He stressed that North Korea must stick to the commitments that were relayed by South Korean officials who met with Kim last week and then came to Washington and briefed Trump.

"There are lots of choices that are going to have to be made, and if the President feels that they all have to go the way that the United States wants them to go, we probably won't get to an agreement - and we probably will find ourselves at war", Sherman said. South Korea and North Korea also agreed to hold what would be their third summit in history in late April.

Brian Padden reported this story for VOANews. George Grow was the editor. "You have to look at the relations with China and particularly you have to consider the impact upon our longstanding ally Japan". Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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