It's not all over, Trump and Kim may still talk in June

28 May, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • US President Donald Trump

But Trump recently expressed openness to a more incremental approach and said that if the summit does happen, it will likely remain in Singapore on June 12 as originally planned.

Trump earlier on Friday hailed the quote "warm and productive statement" from Pyongyang...

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a team of White House and US State Department officials would leave for Singapore on schedule this weekend for the planned 12 June summit. The team will be led by Joe Hagin, deputy chief of staff for operations.

South Korea's presidential office said Saturday that the country's president Moon Jae-in held a meeting with his North Korea's counterpart Kim Jong-un at the demilitarized zone.

"If it does happen ... the North Koreans are going to come back with a tougher negotiating position because the US credibility has really been damaged by this letter and by the method in which the meeting was canceled to begin with", Jenny Town, managing editor of the North Korea-watching 38 North website, said in a telephonic press briefing. Moon was expected on Sunday to reveal the outcome of the meeting.

The second meeting also came two days after Trump called off his scheduled meeting with Kim in Singapore, citing the North's "tremendous anger and open hostility" towards Washington.

North Korea issued an unusually restrained and diplomatic response to Trump, saying it's still willing to sit for talks with the United States "at any time, (in) any format". Trump scrapped the meeting in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

The North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang's recent criticisms had been a reaction to unbridled American rhetoric, and that the current antagonism showed "the urgent necessity" for the summit. "You know that better than anybody".

He did not detail the nature of the new US communication with the North.

"We have got. possibly some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on", he told reporters. He characterized the recent back-and-forth as the "usual give and take". Under the Trump administration, the Central Intelligence Agency, where Mr Pompeo served as director before becoming secretary of state, has taken an unusually prominent role in back-channel negotiations.

The group did not supplant the State Department's traditional mode of communication with the North, which is known as the "New York Channel" and involves US diplomats and their North Korean counterparts posted to the United Nations.

Notably, the statement did not appear in the May 26 edition of Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the North's ruling party that's widely read by North Koreans.

The cancellation followed several statements from North Korea threatening to walk, including one Wednesday night that called Vice President Pence a "political dummy" and threatened a "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown" if there's no meeting.

"Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in shared the view that the two sides should trust and take care of with each other and exert joint efforts to make sure that the Panmunjom Declaration reflecting the unanimous desire of all Koreans is implemented at an early date", the KCNA said. However, experts have cast doubt on whether the North is capable yet of creating a nuclear warhead for a missile.



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