Donald Trump: US-North Korea summit back on for June 12

01 June, 2018, 16:41 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit

Nearly as soon as Pompeo started talking about his plan to rebuild North Korea's economy, Kim Kye Gwan, the North's first vice foreign minister, shot back that Pyongyang has no interest in that kind of help, saying, "We have never had any expectation of USA support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, too".

While Kim Yong Chol's trip to the United States could further brighten the prospects, history shows that plans for a summit could still crumble.

Kim's visit to the United States comes as US and North Korean officials are holding pre-summit meetings both at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the northern side of the inter-Korean demilitarized zone, and in Singapore.

The two planned a "day full of meetings" Thursday, the White House said.

During his unusual visit, Kim Yong Chol had dinner for about an hour-and-a-half with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who traveled from Washington to see him. US and North Korean officials held preliminary talks at the Korean border and were expected to hold a separate set of working-level meetings in Singapore to discuss protocol, security and other logistical issues for the summit.

Kim believes the summit with Trump will be an opportunity to end decades of confrontation, Moon said. The group first met with their counterparts Sunday, and was seen leaving a Seoul hotel on Tuesday, but it was unclear whether they went to Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border inside the Demilitarized Zone.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee and formerly head of a top North Korean military intelligence agency, was scheduled to fly to the United States on Wednesday after speaking to Chinese officials in Beijing, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, citing an unidentified source. South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited diplomatic sources as saying that Kim was on an Air China flight to NY that departed later Wednesday afternoon.


Moon and Kim held unannounced talks on Saturday in the DMZ. Media reports said Pompeo could make a third trip to Pyongyang after Kim's US visit.

Jo's trip came as the two countries were seeking closer ties following North Korea's first-ever summit talks with South Korea in June 2000.

During his tenure as a senior intelligence official, Kim was accused by South Korea of masterminding deadly attacks on a South Korean navy ship and an island in 2010.

Trump tweeted earlier that the senior North Korean official was en route to the US, calling the visit a "solid response to my letter".

Pompeo and Kim met during the secretary of state's two trips to Pyongyang in April and May. Sanctions relief would open the door for more trade with China, South Korea and possibly Russian Federation — partners North Korea trusts more than it trusts Washington — and potentially unlock access to global financial institutions. That was a shift from last week, when Trump announced in an open letter to Kim Jong Un that he had made a decision to "terminate" the summit following a provocative statement from the North.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have been holding a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops. But there are lingering doubts on whether Kim will every fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday there have been no discussions yet between Washington and Seoul on modifying the drills, which usually take place in August. Moon has insisted he can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees.

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