U.S. Officials Meet With North Koreans to Discuss Summit

Glen Norman
May 29, 2018

"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.

"I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day", Trump wrote.

"Kim Jong Un knows his [nuclear] program inside and out", Hayden told ABC News Global Correspondent and "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

It was widely expected that Kim would travel to the US to reciprocate recent visits by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"We continue to prepare for a meeting between the president and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un".

"Last week's flip-flop helped North Korea earn sympathy from the global community while U.S. prestige was damaged".

At Panmunjom, Mr Sung Kim's team reportedly includes Ms Allison Hooker, a low-key but respected Korea specialist on the National Security Council. The White House's latest characterization of the meeting as "expected" appears to be a further sign that it could go ahead. Abe previously conferred with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate last month; the two men agreed to meet again before the possible June 12 summit.

In a flurry of diplomacy over the weekend, Kim Jong Un and South Korea's Moon held a surprise meeting on Saturday at the border village of Panmunjom, during which they agreed the North Korea-U.S. summit must be held.

While both President Trump and Kim have expressed their desire to hold a bilateral summit, the two nations have remained at odds over the key issue of denuclearisation.

"A lot of people are working on it", Trump said.

The talks, which Moon said Kim Jong Un requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back and forth.

"But since that letter that he called this thing off last week, the North Koreans are suddenly warming to the possibility of a meeting that could be back on right now", Baldwin said. Another U.S. delegation was in Singapore to work on logistics.

During a phone call Monday, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to meet again to continue close coordination before the "expected meeting" between the USA and North Korea, according to a statement from the White House.

Kim and Trump's initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over the North's nuclear program.

Another "pre-advance" team is heading to Singapore to meet with North Koreans, the White House said.

On Monday, White House aides were awaiting word from a U.S. team of negotiators posted along the Korean Demilitarized Zone for talks with officials from North Korea. More meetings will take place today.

Criticising the United States leader directly, Lord Hague added: "Trump is the one American leader of recent decades who could agree to that".

"The best that can be hoped for from the South Korean perspective is that the North will agree to new bilateral projects, but I strongly suspect they will be subject to the same caveated zoned approach to development that Kaesong and Kumgang were" Graham adds, referring to a joint North-South Korea economic zone and tourism project developed under previous liberal South Korean governments. South Korea and China account for nearly all of North Korea's land borders, so their support is essential for enforcing sanctions ramped up past year after Kim declared the ability to strike the USA with a nuclear weapon.

Some U.S. officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea fully eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.

It has long said it is open to eventually giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States withdraws its troops from South Korea and ends its "nuclear umbrella" alliance with Seoul.

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