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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All Headlines 16:00 December 07, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

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Trump reaffirms second summit with Kim, welcomes Seoul visit of Kim

BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday reaffirmed his commitment to a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, while apparently offering his blessing to Kim's scheduled trip to Seoul.

In a bilateral summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the U.S. president noted Kim's Seoul visit may create new momentum for efforts to denuclearize North Korea and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"While affirming his commitment to holding a second North Korea-U.S. summit early next year, President Trump asked that South Korea and the U.S. closely cooperate so the next summit will be another historical milestone in the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula," Moon's top press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, said of the summit on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting.

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Pompeo: U.S.-N. Korea summit to happen 'shortly after first of year'

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that he expects a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to take place "shortly after the first of the year."

Pompeo also said in an interview with CNN that the U.S. is seeking a "substantive next step" in the denuclearization talks with the North and that the Trump administration will not prematurely lift sanctions on Pyongyang.

The interview took place after Trump held a one-on-one meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Argentina. North Korea, including a possible second summit between Trump and Kim, was believed to have been a key topic in the talks.

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Trump says second summit with N.K. leader likely to happen in January or February: report

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said that a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to take place in January or February, and three possible venues are under consideration, a news report said Sunday.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump also said that he will invite the North's leader to the U.S. at some point, and that he has "a good relationship" with Kim, according to Reuters. Trump was on his way back home from a Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

"We're getting along very well," Trump was quoted as saying.

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N. Korean FM visits Vietnam to discuss bilateral ties

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho has discussed bilateral ties with top Vietnamese officials during his trip to the Southeast Asian country, the North's state media said Monday.

Ri met Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh during his trip there, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views and reached consensus on the issue of further developing the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries," the KCNA said in English.

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Mattis: N. Korea is most urgent threat to U.S.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called North Korea the most urgent threat to the United States as negotiations to dismantle the regime's nuclear weapons program have stalled.

Mattis made the remark at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, Saturday, when asked which of four countries -- North Korea, China, Russia and Iran -- poses the most serious threat to the U.S.

"In terms of urgency, North Korea is the problem," he said, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon. "We have got to address that, that issue. It's an urgent issue. That's why the United Nations has Security Council resolutions that are unanimous."

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N. Korean FM meets Syrian president

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, discussing expanding ties between the two countries, the Syrian presidential office said.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) earlier reported that the North Korean delegation, led by Ri, arrived in the capital city of Damascus on Monday.

The office said Ri delivered a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Syrian president and discussed ways to further develop ties between the two countries.

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N. Korea 'significantly' expands key missile base: report

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has "significantly" expanded a key long-range missile base, while denuclearization negotiations with the United States have stalled, CNN reported Wednesday, citing new satellite imagery.

It's the latest in a series of reports suggesting that North Korea continues to develop its missile programs despite an agreed plan with the U.S. to dismantle them.

The base is identified in a report by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey as being located in the mountainous interior of the country, CNN said. In addition to the known base in Yeongjeo-dong, there is also construction on a previously unreported site 7 miles away, which could be separate or subordinate to the old site, it said.

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