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Kim Gamel

US, Korean leaders revive summit hopes, but skepticism high

Experts said President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancellation last week of the June 12 meeting may already have damaged the U.S. negotiating position as it seeks to force the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

North and South Korean leaders meet again in bid to save peace efforts

The leaders of North and South Korea met Saturday for the second time in a month amid efforts to get a potential U.S.-North Korean summit back on track.


Trump, Mattis indicate that North Korea summit is still a possibility

President Donald Trump adopted a warmer tone after the North Korea’s outreach on Friday, saying it was even possible the summit could take place on June 12 as planned. "They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it," he told reporters at the White House.


The Original Pancake House dishes up all-American breakfasts at Camp Humphreys

Camp Humphreys promises its American residents a taste of home — and in the case of pancakes, it delivers.


US must decide whether to meet or face ‘nuclear showdown,’ N. Korea says

The heightened rhetoric underscores fears that the two sides are far apart in their goals for upcoming talks. Just over two weeks remain before the first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president.


American civilians moving to Camp Humphreys face bigger tax bills during base relocation

A revision in the new tax-reform law that removed exemptions on moving expenses took effect just as the long-delayed relocation of U.S. military forces south of Seoul started picking up speed.


Trump, Moon to meet amid efforts to keep N. Korean diplomacy afloat

President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart agreed to work closely to ensure the success of the planned U.S.-North Korean summit as they prepare for their own meeting Tuesday in Washington.


ANALYSIS

N. Korea raises stakes, threatens to cancel Trump-Kim summit

North Korea threatened to cancel its upcoming summit with the United States if Washington maintains its key demand that Pyongyang unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons.


North Korea cancels high-level meeting with officials from Seoul

North Korea canceled a high-level meeting with the South Wednesday and threatened to do the same with its landmark summit with the United States next month in a major setback for the recent diplomatic offensive over its nuclear weapons program.


North Korea has begun dismantling nuclear test site, experts say

U.S. researchers say recent satellite imagery shows that North Korea has begun dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site.


Diplomacy gives North Korean leader a popularity boost in South

After years of being seen as a reclusive, cartoon-like character who rules his country with an iron fist, Kim Jong Un is suddenly appearing on the global stage with senior U.S., Chinese and South Korean officials, easing tensions after months of threats and missile tests.


North Korea frees 3 American detainees, clearing hurdle for summit

Donald Trump announced the release of the three men on Twitter, capping hours of suspense after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his second surprise visit to Pyongyang in just over a month.


North Korea says US pressure is spoiling the mood for peace

President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are due to hold a meeting in coming weeks, although the date and venue have yet to be set.


US, S. Korea plan summit, dismiss talk of US troop withdrawal

The U.S. and South Korean presidents will meet before Donald Trump’s summit with the North, officials said, as the allies insisted American troops won’t be on the table in upcoming nuclear negotiations.


Trump says US troop withdrawal from South Korea is 'not on the table'

The president did not rule out the eventual removal of some troops from the peninsula in his brief comments Friday, telling reporters he’d "like to save the money" that it costs to house servicemembers there.


Fate of US troops in South Korea is elephant in the room amid nuclear talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in rejected the idea of withdrawing U.S. troops from the peninsula, saying that the issue is unrelated to efforts to reach a peace treaty with the North.


S. Korean president says Trump deserves Nobel Peace Prize

President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons, his South Korean counterpart said Monday.


Rebranding Kim: North Korean leader shows world his lighter side

He joked about missile tests and expressed embarrassment about the state of his country’s transit infrastructure.


N. Korean leader says he’s ‘not a person to launch nuclear weapons’ at US

In a dramatic reversal of past threats, Kim said he hoped for frequent meetings and trust-building measures with the United States, Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan told reporters.


With ball in his court, Trump welcomes summit between 2 Koreas

With the ball in his court, President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very well” after a historic inter-Korean summit that led to promises to pursue denuclearization and a permanent peace on the divided peninsula.


Koreas declare 'new era of peace' — but offer no specifics

The final declaration signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in was vague on most points, but many North Korea watchers said the meeting was a positive first step toward resolving the crisis over the communist state’s nuclear weapons.


GALLERY

Moon and Kim discuss denuclearization at historic summit

With a historic handshake, the North and South Korean leaders launched a high-stakes summit expressing hope that they could succeed where others had failed in the decades-old standoff over the communist state’s nuclear weapons program.


ANALYSIS

Korean leaders to hold highly symbolic summit in prelude to Trump-Kim meeting

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will walk across the border Friday to begin a highly choreographed summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. But it’s not all about them.


US, S. Korea agree to suspend war games during summit with North

The United States and South Korea will suspend joint war games Friday to help ensure a successful summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, military officials said.


N. Korean defectors, advocates urge US, S. Korea to keep human rights on agenda

North Korea is considered one of the most repressive countries in the world with a regime that uses public executions, arbitrary detention and tight restrictions on personal liberties to maintain firm control over the population of 25 million.


S. Koreans in DMZ village enjoy rare quiet after propaganda broadcasts stop ahead of summits

At the only place where civilians live inside the Demilitarized Zone, anthems and patriotic songs have been blasted around the clock for years. But on Monday, they stopped as both Koreas apparently halted the propaganda broadcasts in a goodwill gesture ahead of Friday’s summit between their leaders.


Moon’s mission: Summit a second chance at peace for S. Korean leader

President Moon Jae-in has the opportunity to finish what his mentor started when he sits down with North Korea’s leader Friday for only the third summit between the rival nations since the 1950-53 war. He knows it won’t be easy.


Military convoy delivers construction material to THAAD base despite protests

A convoy delivered construction material and other equipment to the military base housing a controversial U.S. missile-defense system Monday after riot police scuffled with protesters trying to block the road, according to officials and witnesses.


Analysis

N. Korea’s testing freeze throws ball in US court ahead of summits

North Korea’s declaration that it will freeze nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests throws the ball in Washington’s court as the sides prepare for a historic summit.


North Korea says it will suspend nuclear and missile tests

The surprise announcement came just a week before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the heavily fortified border area on the divided peninsula.


ANALYSIS

Trump’s threat to walk away from summit with N. Korea tempers growing optimism

President Donald Trump threatened to walk away from the summit with North Korea if the talks aren’t “fruitful,” underscoring the fragile nature of a burst of diplomacy aimed at ridding the communist state of its nuclear weapons.


Misunderstanding over wrong-way driver causes Camp Humphreys to close its gates

A car going the wrong way through a gate at Camp Humphreys prompted authorities to lock down the facility on Wednesday, but it was a false alarm, a spokesman said.


US Forces Korea plans to dedicate new headquarters in late June

The U.S. military’s main command in South Korea plans to dedicate its new headquarters building in late June, marking the beginning of its historic relocation to a newly expanded base south of Seoul, a spokesman said Monday.


Analysis

N. Korea may see US troop withdrawal as end game in denuclearization talks

With so little time to prepare, pundits say it’s unlikely that the meeting will produce a breakthrough agreement, although the sides could put forward confidence-building measures.


Analysis

Syria strikes may complicate US-North Korea summit

The U.S.-led targeted airstrikes punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians were exactly the type of assault that Kim Jong Un’s regime fears.


Active-shooter report at Camp Humphreys a false alarm

An alarm was sounded Friday near the Post Exchange, prompting authorities to evacuate the facility and lock down access gates at the base.


Amid protests, S. Korean officials say more needed to improve living conditions at THAAD site

When asked about the need to improve living conditions for soldiers manning the base housing a controversial U.S. missile defense battery, U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carroll said he had not heard of any complaints but would check into the issue.


N. Korean leader makes 1st mention of talks with US, stoking confidence about summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first publicly reported comments about talks with the United States as plans move forward for a summit expected to be held within weeks.


US military to cut 245 S. Korean jobs as forces move south

South Korean civilians fill most of the maintenance, service and other support jobs on U.S. military garrisons as required by the status of forces agreement between the two countries.


S. Korea temporarily grounds fighter jets after deadly crash

South Korea has temporarily grounded its fleet of fighters “except those needed for national defense,” military officials said Friday after a jet slammed into a mountain, killing the two pilots.


S. Korean F-15 crashes; body of pilot recovered, search for co-pilot to continue

Search crews recovered the body of one of two pilots of a South Korean fighter jet that slammed into a mountain Thursday while flying home from a mission.


US, S. Korea cancel Marine amphibious landing exercise due to bad weather

The announcement comes days after the allies began annual military drills known as Foal Eagle amid a diplomatic push with North Korea that has sharply eased tensions on the divided peninsula.


US, South Korea quietly begin war games ahead of summits with North

About 11,500 U.S. and 290,000 South Korean troops will participate in the annual field-training drill known as Foal Eagle, which began Sunday and is expected to last about a month.


Joy Cook’s Italian food among the excellent eatery options near Camp Humphreys

Joy Cook, a recently renovated restaurant just outside Camp Humphreys in South Korea, offers a tasty array of Italian food with a smattering of Korean dishes.


From pride to fear, transgender aviator says her military career proves ban wrong

Just nine months ago, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lindsey Muller was feted as a guest speaker at an Army-sponsored LGBT pride observance at Camp Humphreys. Now she’s worried she may lose her job after nearly two decades of honorable service.


Koreas set date for summit as Trump expresses optimism

Senior North and South Korean officials began preparing for next month’s summit with talks in the tense border area Thursday, while President Trump expressed optimism over a diplomatic push to resolve the standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons program.


Two Koreas agree to meet on summit preparations next week

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will lead South Korea’s team at the meeting, which will be held Thursday in the truce village of Panmunjom in the tense border area.


US military plans evacuation drill at same time as war games with S. Korea

The military holds evacuation exercises every spring and fall, involving mostly family members and civilian contractors. The plan to fly some participants all the way to the United States is believed to be a first for the drills.


N. Korea breaks silence on diplomatic thaw, denies sanctions drove it to dialogue

The commentary posted Tuesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency did not directly mention plans for back-to-back meetings already expected in coming weeks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump.


Joint war games will test diplomacy with North Korea

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, agreed to resume the annual exercises “at a scale similar to that of previous years,” according to a statement.


Om restaurant brings taste of the subcontinent to Seoul

India and Nepal have similar but distinct cuisines, so it was a treat to find both under one roof at a restaurant called Om, conveniently located near Seoul’s main Gwanghwamun Square.


Trump hints he may withdraw troops from S. Korea over trade issues, report says

The Washington Post quoted Trump as saying Wednesday in a fundraising speech that the United States was losing money on trade with South Korea as well as the military presence that is meant as protection against aggression from the North.


video

Students at overseas military bases protest school shootings with walkouts

At bases from Japan to Germany, students joined a national gun violence protest, walking out of class Wednesday in memory of peers and teachers killed in a Florida school shooting last month.


S. Korean army inundated by fan mail for K-pop superstar G-Dragon

South Korea’s military is facing a new danger — fans of K-pop superstar G-Dragon.


Analysis

Trump’s decision to meet with N. Korean leader brings opportunity, risks

President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers a rare opportunity for a diplomatic solution to a nuclear crisis that has threatened to erupt into war. But it also carries a lot of risk.


Korean truce village likely venue for Trump-Kim summit

The Korean truce village in the heavily fortified border area that divides the peninsula is a likely venue for the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


US, S. Korea reportedly plan to hold war games throughout April

The war games are a sensitive subject on the divided peninsula because they usually infuriate North Korea, which considers them a rehearsal for an invasion and has demanded that they be suspended.


Trump cautiously welcomes North Korea offer to consider nuclear talks with US

The announcement raised hopes that a détente fostered by the recent Olympics in South Korea may blossom into broader talks over the growing threat from the North’s nuclear weapons program.


Satellite images suggest N. Korea producing more plutonium for weapons

Analysts said the North is likely sending a signal that it will continue its military programs in an effort to boost its leverage as the South presses it to hold talks with the United States.


US, South Korea to open cost-sharing negotiations this week in Hawaii

Talks about shouldering the burden between the two allies have often been bumpy, but they’re expected to be more contentious this year as President Donald Trump has signaled that he may press for the South to increase its contribution.


South Korean spy chief to lead high-level delegation to North Korea

National security director Chung Eui-yong and national intelligence service chief Suh Hoon will fly with eight other officials and support staff to Pyongyang for two days of talks with senior North Korean officials.


GALLERY

US military leaves rich history, environmental concerns as Yongsan move gains momentum

A long-delayed plan to move most American forces from Yongsan Garrison to a new hub south of the capital is picking up speed. Seoul and Washington agreed in 2004 to move most U.S. forces to a newly expanded Camp Humphreys.


N. Korea expresses willingness to hold talks with US

North Korea expressed a willingness to meet with the United States even as it lashed out against new shipping sanctions and warned a blockade would be an “act of war.”


Ivanka Trump and ex-N. Korean spymaster to attend Olympics closing ceremony

North Korea will send a high-level delegation led by a former spymaster to the Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday, raising speculation about the possibility of a meeting with Ivanka Trump, who will also be in the audience.


US, South Korea say joint war games will be held after Olympics ‘as planned’

The longtime allies had agreed to postpone the annual exercises until after the Winter Games in a bid to ease rising tensions with the nuclear-armed North, which considers them a rehearsal for an invasion.


Olympians past and present celebrate troops, families at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul

Olympic athletes and several entertainers celebrated U.S. troops and their families during an on-base festival in South Korea as the 2018 Winter Games entered their second week.


Expensive guests: S. Korea will foot $2.6M bill for North’s visit

South Korea agreed Wednesday to pay $2.6 million for North Korea’s participation in the Olympics, saying the money was well spent as a way to ease tensions and “open the door for peace on the Korean Peninsula.”


Analysis

North Koreans wrap up whirlwind of Olympic diplomacy

Many observers agreed the North had won this round in the propaganda battle, but many hurdles lie ahead before a lasting solution is reached.


North Korean leader’s sister delivers summit invitation to South Korean president

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korea’s president to a summit in Pyongyang, officials said Saturday, his latest move in a flurry of diplomacy that saw athletes from both countries march together under a unified flag in the Olympics opening ceremony the day before.


Analysis

Pence visit to Olympics aimed at countering N. Korea’s ‘charm offensive’

Experts say the effort to cast a spotlight on the North’s brutal treatment of many of its people is a powerful tool because the leadership is extremely sensitive on the subject, but it’s unclear if the administration is trying to set the stage for military action or simply increase the pressure on the regime over its nuclear weapons program.


N. Korea says it has ‘no intention’ to meet with Pence during Olympics

North Korea said it has “no intention” to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during the Winter Olympics, putting a damper on South Korean hopes it could use the Winter Games as a springboard to get the two sides to the table.


N. Korean leader plans to send powerful sister to Olympics, testing US sanctions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is planning to send his sister as part of high-level delegation to the Olympics, officials said Wednesday, a move that raises the stakes for the United States because she faces sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department.


Army Olympian bobsledder undergoes appendectomy; team hopes he can compete

A National Guardsman who won a spot as a bobsled pilot in the Pyeongchang Olympics underwent an emergency appendectomy, but the U.S. Olympic Committee said it’s hopeful he will still be able to compete in the Winter Games.


Analysis

US ambassador decision raises new concern about ‘bloody nose’ strike on N. Korea

Victor Cha was pulled from consideration for the position after he privately disagreed with President Donald Trump’s policy on North Korea and threats to scrap the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement.


Gallery

Trump warns of growing threats from N. Korea, terrorist groups; promises to build up military

President Donald Trump praised a North Korean defector and the parents of an American university student who died of injuries suffered while in North Korean custody Tuesday evening as he warned that the communist state “could very soon threaten our homeland.”


US-South Korean war games will go on after Olympics, Pentagon says

The joint drills known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are held every year in the spring and always infuriate North Korea, which considers them a rehearsal for an invasion.