Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard X arrives in Singapore

29 May, 2018, 11:45 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • This Week

South Korean media say a senior North Korean official is heading to the United States, potentially to participate in preparatory negotiations to set up a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has reportedly dispatched top officials to the United States and Singapore, the latest indication that the on-again-off-again summit with US President Donald Trump may go ahead.

The influential figure is regularly seen at the North Korean leader's side and has attended meetings with the leaders of China and South Korea, and met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang.

"What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations (with North Korea) and provide a security guarantee if they do denuclearization", Mr. Moon said.

At the same time, a team of US government officials, including the White House deputy chief of staff for operations Joe Hagin, left US Yokota Air Base in Japan for Singapore on Monday, NHK said.

A U.S. official told Reuters that Sung Kim, the former United States ambassador to South Korea, was leading the American delegation to meet North Korean officials at the border.

On Sunday, Mr Trump said a team from the USA had arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit, saying it would help the North achieve its "brilliant potential".

But they can negotiate language and a timetable that Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump can agree on, a framework for further negotiations.

A White House statement said that in their call, Trump and Abe "affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs".

Since then, North Korea has rejected US demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons programme that experts say could threaten the United States.

The talks are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday at Tongilgak, or "Unification House", the building in the northern part of the demilitarised zone where Kim Jong Un met Moon on Saturday, The Post reported.

"We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea", Mr Trump said at the White House.

Less than 24 hours after cancelling the event with a letter to North Korea's leader on Thursday, Trump hinted that it might still proceed as planned.

Today's price action suggests investors are betting on a meeting between the USA and North Korean leaders.

But Mr. Moon also made clear that any steps to dial back Mr. Kim's nuclear capabilities could come with strings attached.

"I don't know that the president has done the kind of homework that would allow him to do this" in negotiations, said Hayden, who headed the CIA under presidents George W. Bush and Obama, and who also served as director of the National Security Agency under both Bush and President Clinton.

"No matter how experienced and knowledgeable these officials are, they will not be able to change the fundamental challenge between the United States and North Korea over its status as a nuclear power".

First Vice Foreign Minister Kim released immediately a conciliatory statement Friday, expressing great regret over the cancellation of the summit, and a surprise second summit upon the request of Pyongyang was held between President Moon Jae-in and North's Kim on Saturday.

"This combination of positions in the party and state makes Kim one of the most powerful figures in North Korea", according to North Korea Leadership Watch, a website that tracks senior regime figures".


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