>> Just over a week to go until a plan summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un and there's a flurry of diplomacy on both sides to gear up for the talks in Singapore. But on Monday, a senior US official said North Korea may have taken it a step further by replacing it's top three military leaders.
They say Pyongyang's replaced them with a much younger group loyal to Kim Jong Un. As Reuters Josh Smith reports from Seoul, it may be a sign Kim is tightening his grip within the north.>> This is not to say that there is anything wrong with the previous officials, but the new officials, as reported, are a lot younger.
They are people who have come to power under Kim Jong Un and they are likely to support him, not only should he decide to make some kind of deal on nuclear weapons. But also, as he tries to seek to jump start economic development in his country.>> American officials believe, there were some descent in the military about Kim's new approach to South Korea and the US.
Donald Trump wants North Korea to denuclearize, in return for relief from sanction. Though, the country's leadership is believe to see nuclear as critical to survival. Well, Kim needs sanctions relief plans to focus on the economy. Meanwhile, lower level talks are ongoing with the US. American official say they're now optimistic about the talks but any deal wouldn't offer a quick nuclear solution.
>> One sign that we have seen of a potential softening of the US stance has been more discussion by US officials that whatever agreement they make with North Korea, could be something more long term. They are now discussing steps towards denuclearization rather than complete denuclearization all at once.
>> All three of Kim's new leaders have at least some experience with foreign delegations. That will be critical as he continues to line up meetings with not only the US, China and Russia, but now on Sunday Syria. State media quoted President Bashar al-Assad saying he plans to visit Kim in the capital Pyongyang.