Japan says it detects apparent Chinese ship breaking N.Korea sanctions

North Korean refugees hope for better times ahead as unification is on the cards

North Korean refugees hope for better times ahead as unification is on the cards

"If the US-North Korean summit would be held without sufficient preparations and ending up in major failure, then it's going to be a huge cost which will have to be borne by all of the countries in this region".

"That doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting, maybe you have to have a second or a third and maybe we'll have none, but it's in good hands, that I can tell you", Trump said.

United Nations sanctions on the North limit energy trade and ban offshore transfers of goods to North Korean ships as part of global efforts to pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons.

The point person for US preparations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, met with Kim Yong Chol, a top adviser to Kim Jong Un and vice chairman of the Central Committee Wednesday.

But Kim, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about "U.S. hegemonism", a comment that may complicate the discussions in NY.

In April, the U.N. Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies over oil and coal smuggling by North Korea, including five based in China.

On Wednesday, Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of the ruling North Korean Workers' Party's Central Committee, arrived in NY to hold talks with Pompeo as part of preparations for the US-North Korean summit in Singapore. Instead, the officials said, it brought both sides to the table with increasing seriousness, as they work through myriad logistical and policy decisions to keep June 12 a viable option for the summit.

While the Central Committee's statement served to cushion possible "psychological unrest" among citizens, it also included phrasing to indicate that the North has not abandoned its nuclear power ambitions, the source said. The ships were connected by a hose and engaged in some kind of activity, ministry officials said.

The White House emphasized that it has remained in close contact with South Korean and Japanese officials as preparations for the talks continue. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump will host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on June 7 to coordinate their thinking ahead of the summit.

Differences between Washington and Pyongyang led Mr. Trump to cancel the summit in a letter to counterpart Kim Jung Un before diplomatic efforts were renewed in the past week. Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week.

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