But the new developments have led to a renewed impression that the audacious diplomatic meeting may not be as likely to occur as it once seemed.
North Korea's propaganda outlets condemned Bolton's remarks, which also cast uncertainty on the future of the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim. Right now it's still on. "The challenge is the Trump administration and Kim Jong Un are just too far apart on even what the definition is on denuclearization".
Moon "needs to succeed with Kim Jong Un and and Donald Trump", Bush said. Asked whether Trump was willing to abandon the summit if his terms aren't met, Pence said "there's no question". Amid growing concern over the success of the summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was to meet with Mr. Trump in Washington later Tuesday.
One of the reports on Tuesday, which came as North Korea allowed an airplane full of foreign journalists into the country to cover the dismantling of its nuclear test site this week, accused Seoul of teaming up with Washington for military drills intended as a show of force and as a "war drill" against it.
Veteran North Korea watchers note that we have been to this rodeo before.
Earlier this month, North Korea denounced U.S. demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment" and cancelled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the South in protest over joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.
Going into the North Korea meeting, senior administration officials say, the president has been nearly singularly focused on the pageantry of the summit -including the suspenseful roll-out of details. "But we are preparing for various possibilities".
The imprudent references to the "Libya model" can only ensure that Kim will not make the same mistake as Gadhafi. "And I would expect he will make his best pitch".
What is clear is why they are going to Wonsan, which is probably the most presentable city in North Korea after the capital.
And it could be a deciding factor in whether the Trump-Kim summit moves forward.
"Where are we, if the meeting is canceled?"
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Chung has dismissed the reports, saying no such change in heart in the US has been detected and that the USA president did not make any inquiries about a possible change in heart on the North Korean side in his latest telephone conversation with Moon held just three days earlier.
There's good reason to believe that Moon's handling of potential talks with North Korea - and, with that, his handling of Trump - has helped boost those numbers. For the Six Party Talks, it was the father of Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il, who made all final decisions.
Trump responded by saying the meeting may or may not take place.
"President Trump told me three days ago that he wants to end this in a win-win way".
When it was noted that the comparison could be interpreted as a threat, Pence replied: "Well, I think it's more of a fact".
North Korea says the process will involve collapsing all tunnels with explosions, completely blocking tunnel entrances, removing all observation and research facilities and taking down structures used for guarding the site.
The planned destruction of the test site, in Wonsan, represents denuclearization North Korea's way, meaning it isn't permanent, verifiable, irreversible, or complete.
The Trump administration's maximalist position on denuclearization - refusing any sanctions relief until North Korea denuclearizes - has irked North Korea, which is advocating for a phased approach to denuclearization and sanctions relief. Trump and Moon discussed North Korea in a call Saturday, ahead of their meeting this Tuesday. -South Korea military exercises and from Trump's national security adviser John Bolton.
But it is mainly just a gesture. Thus this is an unprecedented set of negotiations for the U.S. It's also the type of negotiation North Korea had requested for decades - a meeting of their leader with the U.S. President, claiming that all issues could then be resolved expeditiously. While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has suggested that Kim is on the same page as the United States, the May 16 statements raise doubts.
Concrete gains for Trump would be slower to emerge.
"It increasingly looks like the Moon administration overstated North Korea's willingness to deal".