Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

United States officials meet North Koreans to plan for possible Trump-Kim summit

United States officials meet North Koreans to plan for possible Trump-Kim summit

The White House is prepared for a planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take place on June 12, the original date proposed for the on-again-off-again meeting, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday. He also said it's regrettable that the summit will not take place, but that he respects Trump's decision. He would need a travel waiver to come to NY.

"Vice Chairman Kim bought a ticket for a flight to NY to depart at 1 p.m. today", a source said.

Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines, also served as ambassador to South Korea and was part of the USA negotiating team that last held substantive denuclearisation talks with North Korea during the George W Bush administration in 2005.

Trump's decision also came while USA and worldwide journalists were in North Korea.

In principle, Kim is prohibited from traveling to the US under Washington's sanctions against Pyongyang. In his Sunday press conference, Moon said that the meaning of denuclearization was a question the USA and North Korea needed to decide without South Korea's help.

A spokesman at South Korea's presidential Blue House said he has no specific information about the ongoing talks in the DMZ and NY, but is hoping for good results.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he leaves after their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea.

"Since the President's May 24th letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging".

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", Trump wrote on Twitter, in Washington's first confirmation that USA officials had entered North Korea for the talks.

Abe, one of the most vociferous supporters of Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against the nuclear-armed North, has been concerned that the mercurial USA president's decision to meet Kim might result in him making a deal with Pyongyang that leaves out shorter- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japan.

Despite repeated references to "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" by the North, it remains unclear whether Kim will ever agree to fully abandon his nuclear arsenal.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

The US and South Korea blacklisted Mr Kim Yong Chol for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programmes in 2010 and 2016, respectively.

Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and to a planned meeting with Trump, Moon told a news conference in Seoul.

The White House said a "pre-advance" team was traveling to Singapore to meet with North Koreans.

Kim Yong Chol - a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea - is the highest-ranking official to visit the United States in nearly two decades. What does that signal, and what kind of effect does it have on the talks with the U.S.?

Kim will be the first senior North Korean official to visit the United States in nearly 20 years.

That likely contributed to the decision to travel there, in addition to US considerations of the political symbolism of a visit to Washington.

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