All national dailies reported on a press roundtable held by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Thursday. Asahi quoted the acting assistant secretary as commenting on the inter-Korean summit to be held today by saying President Trump supports the idea of ending the state of war on the Korean Peninsula. The paper interpreted this remark as an expression of hope for a path toward a lasting peace. The paper also quoted Thornton as saying that in the past North Korea continued to develop nuclear weapons while holding negotiations and that the mistakes of the past should not be repeated in dealing with Pyongyang. According to the paper, she also stressed that it is necessary for the North to take serious steps to denuclearize and that the sanctions will be maintained until the right path to that end has been laid out. Mainichi wrote that she reportedly said the President supports a permanent solution to end the Korean War and that the inter-Korean summit will be a good opportunity to make progress.
Yomiuri quoted the acting assistant secretary as saying that although North Korea has made positive remarks on denuclearization, it is difficult to take them at face value because there is a history of years of negotiations with Pyongyang. Nikkei wrote that Thornton expressed the view that it is necessary to set a deadline for North Korea to denuclearize, quoting her as saying that the same mistakes should not be repeated. Sankei quoted Thornton as saying that the inter-Korean summit will be the first venue to test the sincerity of the DPRK.