Trump to press South Korea's Moon before summit with North

North Korea news Kim Jong-un and Queen

US President Donald Trump warned Tuesday his landmark summit with Kim Jong Un may be delayed, but insisted the North Korean leader is "serious" about denuclearization.

Eight journalists from South Korea departed for rival North Korea on Wednesday after the North allowed them to join the small group of foreign media in the country to witness the dismantling of its nuclear test site this week, Seoul officials said.

Last week Pyongyang threatened to pull out if Washington pressed for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.

His aides are looking to Moon to help determine whether Kim is taking a harder line against denuclearisation than South Korea had previously communicated to them, a USA official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"For the Kim family, everyone is a potential enemy", Choi Min Jun, a North Korean defector living in South Korea, told the BBC.

Our correspondent in Beijing, NBC's Janis Mackey Frayer, said "North Korea is still likely to go ahead with closing its nuclear site sometime in the next couple of days. And if we don't, we won't have the meeting", he told reporters, without elaborating on what those conditions might be.

"But we remain clear-eyed in these negotiations, but we continue to prepare, and we'll see what happens", she said.

Sending the North Koreans home would be an extraordinary move, though not entirely unprecedented.

"North Korea can say to the worldwide community that it did its best to achieve denuclearisation through negotiations but was pressured by the United States and couldn't do it", he said.

Chinese geologists last month published a report saying the nuclear blast caused an on-site collapse at Punggye-ri, warning of an "environmental catastrophe" if the North tried to use the site again.

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But others say the fact that North Korea agreed to destroy the site without preconditions or asking for something in return from Washington is significant.

There was euphoria when the planned summit with the USA was announced but since then there have been doubts on both sides.

Travel will involve an 11-hour train ride, a four-hour bus journey and then a hike of another hour, a reporter with Russia's RT said on Twitter.

Reporters from news outlets from the other countries said on Twitter they arrived in the North Korean port city of Wonsan on Tuesday.

Asked whether there has been a breakthrough between the two Koreas, a Cheong Wa Dae official said while they could not reveal the details, there are "various analyses" that have convinced Moon that the talks would resume. The South's presidential Blue House declined to comment on the implications for family reunions, referring questions to the Unification Ministry.

He said the destruction of the Punggye-ri test site would win Pyongyang worldwide sympathy even if the summit collapses.

Agence France-Presse is one of a number of major media organisations not invited to cover the demolition. "And whether or not it happens, you'll be knowing pretty soon". -North Korea summit can proceed smoothly.

On Seoul's streets Wednesday, South Koreans were divided on whether they thought Pyongyang was honest.

Politically, Trump has invested heavily in the success of the meeting, so most U.S. officials, as well as outside observers, privately expect it will go ahead.

"I think that the president has belatedly figured out that claiming the possibility that talks will occur as a victory in and of itself - and having supporters chant about the Nobel Prize to him - was premature in the extreme", said Chris Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

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