South Korean leader to meet Donald Trump to resolve nuclear impasse

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday

Leader Kim Jong Un has made economic development the centerpiece of his strategy and told officials this week that building a self-supporting economy would be a blow to the "hostile forces" that have imposed sanctions on the North Korea.

The new personnel appointments may be a sign of Kim's desire to keep recent months of up-and-down nuclear diplomacy alive rather than returning to the threats and weapons tests that characterized 2017, when many feared war on the Korean Peninsula.

The gathering of the Central Committee comes after Kim's Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump broke up without agreement in February, and as South Korean President Moon Jae-in flies to Washington for talks with the US leader.

The move came as part of a top-ranking reshuffle that analysts said further cemented Kim's already unshakeable grip on power.

Choe was also elected as a member of the State Affairs Commission (SAC) and the SPA's foreign affairs commission. The new jobs strengthened his status as No. 2.

"Indeed, North Korea has beefed up significant resilience against sanctions over a long period of time", he added.

Kim Jong-Un told top officials to push ahead with self-reliance to undermine sanctions. He went to China and Russian Federation as Kim's special envoy, and has assumed a series of high-profile jobs, including the top political officer in the North's 1.2 million-member military. His retirement has always been expected because of old age.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's deputy, Choe Ryong Hae, was elected on Thursday as chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially known.

The North Korean supreme people's assembly - its rubber-stamp parliament - will meet on Thursday as the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, meets Trump in Washington in an attempt to kickstart nuclear negotiations.

Ken Gause, director of the International Affairs Group at the Center for Naval Analyses, said failing to move the US position on sanctions could cost Moon his credibility with Kim.

Since early 2018 Kim has embarked on a push for economic development and global engagement, including historic summits with the leaders of the United States, China and South Korea.

"I see no sign that they have done anything to break the diplomatic impasse", he said.

Earlier Moon sat down with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton and said it is necessary "to maintain the momentum of dialogue and achieve results through a top-down approach so the global community can look forward to a third U.S". Moon, a liberal who facilitated U.S.

He has staked his presidency on engagement with isolated North Korea, pushing for a resumption of South Korean tourism to the North's Mount Kumgang and operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where companies from the South used to be staffed by workers from the North.

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