China: Over 30 dead following traffic accident in North Korea

DEJA VU People watch a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Trump right and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul South Korea yesterday

But doubts linger over whether North Korea has truly chose to change course after conducting six nuclear tests and pushing ahead with development of ICBMs that could reach the US mainland, given its history of broken promises over its nuclear and missile programs.

Chinese tourists make up about 80 percent of all foreign visitors to North Korea, says a South Korean think-tank, the Korea Maritime Institute, which estimates that tourism generates revenue of about $44 million each year for the isolated country.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday praised the declaration of a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests by the North's leader Kim Jong Un, days before a summit between the two men.

Monday's statement said North Korea also agreed on live broadcasts by South Korean media of unspecified events at the northern side of Panmunjom. The US has never extended diplomatic recognition to North Korea.

Preparations for the ground-breaking summit between the two Koreas who are technically at war since their war in 1950-53 did not end with a peace treaty but an armistice is on with even the USA president having blessed it.

A South Korean newspaper recently indicated that the North may no longer ask the United States to withdraw its troops in South Korea as part of the security guarantees it wants.

Pompeo's confirmation before the full Senate now hangs in balance, with the votes of just a handful of senators determining whether he becomes the nation's top diplomat after Trump fired Rex Tillerson last month. In November he told Fox News, when asked about the many vacancies in the State Department, that "I'm the only one that matters".

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Interested in South Korea?

North Korea has its own system of speakers along the border, playing reports critical of Seoul and its allies.

"In order to build a socialist economy, we will create favorable global conditions and activate a close dialogue with the neighboring states and the worldwide community with an aim to protect peace on the Korean Peninsula and on the entire planet". Having Trump agree after that to a top-level summit was a clear win for Pyongyang.

Ahead of the scheduled inter-Korean meeting, Pyongyang said it would halt all nuclear and missile tests and scrap its nuclear test site. Suga said the move is a step forward.

But that still doesn't address a North Korean arsenal that now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental ICBMs developed during a decadeslong cycle of crises, stalemates and broken promises. With that sword acquired, it added, the country will now focus on "building a powerful socialist economy and markedly improving the standard of people's living".

Mr Trump has claimed in a tweet that Pyongyang agreed to "denuclearisation" ahead of this potential meeting.

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