Diplomacy heats up ahead of potential North Korea summit

31 May, 2018, 22:07 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • North Korea-US summit on track, says Moon, after candid talks with 'friend' Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong Un talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in as Kim Yong Chol listens during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea. The last official of his stature to visit the United States was Jo Myong Rok, the late first vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, who visited Washington in 2000, South Korea's Unification Ministry said.

Mr Moon said he told Mr Kim that Mr Trump has a "firm resolve" to end hostile relations with North Korea and initiate economic cooperation if Kim implements "complete denuclearisation". "Thank you all very much we appreciate it. Congratulations everybody".

North Korean watchers here say that North Korea and the U.S. seem to have reached a broad agreement on the timeline and road map for North Korea's denuclearization - North Korea takes steps to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a short, compressed period of time in return for the United States taking measures to guarantee the Kim Jong-un regime's survival. South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports that Kim is expected to travel to New York City on Wednesday. It's the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years.

The summit had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, but Trump wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un last week saying he had chose to "terminate" the meeting.

Meanwhile, the North's state-run media reported Wednesday that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will "soon" make a trip to Pyongyang. -North Korea summit, the White House said on Monday. While agreeing to halt missile tests and close a nuclear test site, North Korea has not yet agreed to give up its nuclear weapons.

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In this May 26, 2018 photo provided on May 27, 2018, by South Korea Presidential Blue House, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center, during a meeting at the northern side of Panmunjom in North Korea.

When he was asked by a reporter at the Beijing airport if he was flying to Singapore for talks with the USA, he said he was "going there to play", according to footage from Nippon TV. Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY.

But on Saturday as Moon was briefing reporters on his meeting with Kim, Trump suggested the US-North Korea summit could go ahead as originally planned.

Kim Yong Chol, who is suspected of being behind deadly attacks on a South Korean warship and border island in 2010, is subject to sanctions that prevent him entering South Korea and the United States.

Pentagon official Randall Schriver was also part of the US team, along with Allison Hooker, a Korea expert on the White House National Security Council, the USA official said.

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North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim Jong Un is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the worldwide legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

"I think they might have already agreed to complete North Korea's denuclearization in stages within two years".

But General Kim is one of several North Korean officials under U.S. sanctions, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was sure that the USA had taken appropriate administrative steps to allow him to visit NY unmolested.

Pompeo has taken the lead on efforts regarding North Korea in recent months and twice visited the nation and has met with Kim Jong Un.

But North Korea's propaganda took a very aggressive line with the USA since Wednesday, threatening nuclear war and bashing Vice President Mike Pence.

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A USA official told Reuters that Sung Kim, the former US ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, was leading the American delegation to meet North Korean officials at the border.



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