'N Korea will never fully give up Nuke weapons'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday", "Our eyes are wide open with respect to the risks, but it is our fervent hope that Chairman Kim wants to make a strategic change".

The site's closure would set up next month's historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, which is shaping up to be a crucial moment in the global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North.

"No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible, that the Americans would actually do this, would lead to the place where America was no longer held at risk by the North Korean regime", he said, adding, "That's the objective".

While South Korea's presidential office had said that Kim told South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their summit last month that global experts will be invited to witness the closure, the North's Foreign Ministry statement on Saturday did not include any references to allowing experts at the site. Trump hailed the gesture as "very smart and gracious", and Pompeo said it is "good news" and "one step along the way".

"This will be Americans coming in - private sector Americans, not the U.S. taxpayer - private sector Americans coming in to help build out the energy grid", he said.

"If we get denuclearization, of course, there will be sanctions relief, certainly".

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Seoul's Unification Ministry said it was informed by the North on Tuesday that eight South Korean journalists will be invited.

However, on May 13, USA national security advisor John Bolton made the US stance clear when he said no benefits would flow to the North Korean regime unless a denuclearization process was "completely underway that's irreversible".

Lisa Collins, a fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, said it is still too early to tell what will be accomplished in the first meeting between Trump and Kim.

"Even though the USA has said that it will provide economic assistance if North Korea achieves denuclearization, the promise by the US can not be trusted", Kim reportedly said to Xi, according to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun on May 13, citing unnamed diplomatic resources.

Optimists will argue that Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons and reforming his economy to catalyze development in the future, and skeptics will argue otherwise, Collins said in a post.

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