North Korea: Satellite images suggest movement at main nuclear site

Kim Yo Jong exchanges a document with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Kim Jong Un and Trump's summit in Singapore

Kim Yo Jong exchanges a document with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Kim Jong Un and Trump's summit in Singapore

But Putin is not likely to play the role of spoiler in the North Korea-U.S. talks, in part because he doesn't have much leverage over Pyongyang, says Andrei Lankov, a professor at Seoul's Kookmin University.

Last week, Kim said the Hanoi breakdown raised the risks of reviving tensions, adding that he was only interested in meeting Trump again if the United States came with the right attitude.

But Pompeo said Kim had made a commitment to denuclearize and "we collectively need to see that outcome move forward". He said he wanted it done by the end of the year. "I'd love to see that done sooner". I truly would... Because it would mean we were successful.

Putin may use the meeting to boost his influence in North Korea and ensure Moscow is not sidelined in negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. "It would be a glorious thing".

Kim, whose government is being squeezed by worldwide sanctions, is likely to push Putin for economic aid that would give him more leverage in nuclear talks with the United States.

Russian Federation regularly appears on the list of state actors suspected to be helping North Korea violate United Nations sanctions, imposed in response to Pyongyang's most recent illegal nuclear test in September 2017. He rejected partial denuclearization steps offered by Kim.

Since emerging from his global isolation just over a year ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been a busy man.

Breaking his silence on the summit in a speech to DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly on Friday, Kim said it was "essential for the U.S.to quit its current calculation method and approach us with a new one". Trump said in that summit that he is open to a third summit with Kim.

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Kim Yo Jong, who is considered to be the most powerful woman in the country, was not listed as an alternate member of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party of Korea's (WPK) politburo - the party's top decision-making body - and did not appear at any high-profile events during an important party gathering last week, NK News reported, citing state media.

He said his country would "wait for a bold decision from the USA with patience till the end of this year", raising the potential for the unresolved nuclear issue to become a liability for Trump during his 2020 re-election bid. "It doesn't have to move fast".

He said there are "lots of conversations taking place" and that "President Trump is determined to move forward diplomatically". Kim has yet to meet the Russian leader and, while he did meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a Russia-North Korea summit would provide an opportunity for Kim to signal that he has other potential partners if the United States is unwilling to follow through with what North Korea sees as its obligations under the June 12 Singapore declaration, signed by Kim and U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

She has accompanied her brother to multiple worldwide events, including the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, where she sat next to Vice President Mike Pence, and Kim Jong Un's second summit with President Donald Trump this February.

Despite Trump's and Pompeo's remarks, US officials have acknowledged that the two sides have failed to agree on a definition of denuclearization.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office said it wasn't its place to confirm the date and location of any upcoming summit between Putin and Kim.

On Friday, Kim accused Washington of escalating hostility "despite its suggestion for settling the issue through dialogue" and called the USA policy of sanctions and pressure "as foolish and risky an act as trying to put out fire with oil".

Russian officials departing Pyongyang this week met with state officials in addition to participating in the mandatory worship of communist founder Kim Il-sung and visiting several manufacturing facilities in the capital, according to the North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

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