'Imperative' to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons, say Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe
16:45, Jun 1, 2018
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South Korean media also reported that a North Korean delegation arrived in Singapore on Monday night, where other US officials, led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, are preparing for the summit.
Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader's closest aides, landed midafternoon on an Air China flight from Beijing. Kim was seen in the Beijing airport on Tuesday by Associated Press Television.
Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, is traveling to NY and will meet with Pompeo "later this week", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
This will be the first meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un.
While maintaining that Kim is committed to denuclearisation, Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what that means, and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.
The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again meeting on track.
While likely substantive, those discussions could be upstaged by any talks between Kim Yong Chol and officials in the United States, said Evans Revere, a former senior diplomat who dealt with North Korea under U.S. President George W. Bush. Regarding the date for the meeting, she added, "We're going to continue to shoot for June 12th". Trump last week unexpectedly cancelled the planned summit with Kim, citing North Korea's "tremendous anger and open hostility".
Despite the North's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are lingering doubts about whether Kim Jong Un will fully relinquish his nuclear weapons, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival.
The future of North Korea's nuclear program, which has been a source of global tension for decades, US security guarantees and coordination for a Trump-Kim summit are likely to be at the top of the agenda, analysts said.
USA and North Korean officials have been continuing preparations for the possible summit.
Pompeo, Trump's former Central Intelligence Agency chief, has traveled to Pyongyang twice in recent weeks for meetings with Kim Jong Un, and has said there is a "shared understanding" between the two sides about what they hope to achieve in talks. Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk also did not say whether Seoul knew of any US plans regarding Kim Yong Chol's visit, such as whether he and Pompeo would meet. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY. That suggests Kim might have chosen to first go to NY because it would make it easier for him to communicate with officials in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
"The president and prime minister affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs".
Seoul blames him for masterminding the 2010 sinking of the South Korean navy corvette the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors, an attack North Korea denies playing any role in. Trump's letter, the aides said, was created to pressure the North on the global stage for appearing to have cold feet. White House officials have characterized the letter from the president to Kim as a negotiating tactic, created to bring the North back to the table.
Kim Yong Chol's official title is a vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party. But less than 24 hours later, Trump said the June 12 meeting would still be possible.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reaffirmed his belief that tariffs remained an important tool to "protect our technology". Last month, the administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports to protest the forced technology transfers.
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