Korean official heads to NY to plan for Trump summit

31 May, 2018, 22:07 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit

Kim Chang Son, another aide to the North Korean leader, arrived in Singapore late Monday to discuss logistics and security arrangements for the planned summit, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

The delegation of the DPRK is composed of eight people.

He arrived in Beijing on Tuesday as there's no direct flight between North Korea and the US amid speculation that he might have met with Chinese officials.

To reaffirm his commitment to denuclearization and his willingness to meet with Trump, Kim held a surprise second summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the inter-Korean border last Saturday.

"We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means", South Korean President Moon Jae-in' spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said, according to The Washington Post's Anna Fifield.

Trump confirmed the general was on his way in a tweet and boasted that Washington would have a "great team" for the talks aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.

He appears to be very close to Kim Jong-un as he sat directly next to him in the most recent inter-Korean summit. "So be it!", - he wrote.

During his two hour meeting with Kim, Moon said he urged both Washington and Pyongyang "to remove misunderstandings through direct communication and to have sufficient dialogue in advance through working-level negotiations on the agendas to be agreed upon at the summit".

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"Kim Yong-chol may be heading to the U.S. to finalize discussions that can not be done at the working-level talks", said a diplomatic source with knowledge of dealing with North Koreans.

General Kim is one of several North Korean officials under USA sanctions, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was sure the US had taken appropriate steps to allow him to visit NY unmolested. The North's arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland US cities.

"During the South Korea-US summit, President Trump said the US is willing to clearly put an end to hostile relations (between the US and North Korea) and help (the North) achieve economic prosperity if North Korea conducts denuclearisation". "What the United States wants from the North as the first step would be. the North transferring some of its nuclear warheads outside the country, destruction of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit the USA mainland", said Hong Min, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY.

It remains unclear whom Kim Yong Chol would meet in the United States if he goes.

It was the North's hardened position that prompted Trump to cancel a proposed June 12 summit between him and Mr. Kim.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet that Trump was continuing "to actively prepare" for the anticipated meeting with the North's leader, and that the president would meet with Abe just days ahead of the summit.

Beijing backs the North's proposal for a phased and synchronized denuclearization process, while the United States insists on a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.

After the North's combative statements, there was debate inside the Trump administration about whether it marked a real turn to belligerence or a feint to see how far Kim Jong Un could push the U.S.in the lead-up to the talks.

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