Second Day of Pre-Summit Nuclear Talks for U.S., North Korea

31 May, 2018, 20:06 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Russia says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit N.Korea on May 31

The official was speaking in NY as the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and a top North Korean official, Kim Yong-chol, met over a dinner ahead of a day of talks on Thursday aimed at defining negotiating positions and narrowing differences before the summit.

A high-ranking North Korean official arrived in NY on Wednesday after flying in from Beijing to hold talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as both sides accelerate the pace of preparations for a possible summit between their leaders.

Kim Yong Chol, a top aide to Kim and the regime's former spy chief, left Beijing on Wednesday with his five-member entourage heading for New York, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Mr. Trump canceled the assembly in a letter to Mr. Kim on Thursday however has been working to reconstitute it ever since, posting Twitter messages that say he's assured the North Korean economic system will prosper if an accord is reached.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the delegation in NY, and the president said he is hopeful they will travel to Washington DC on Friday.

Both levels of negotiations between US and North Korean officials are aimed at closing the gap on the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program ahead of the potential June 12 summit.

"I can say that the differences in stances between North Korea and the US remain quite significant", Cho said.

Sanctions against North Korea must be slowly eased as part of the process of its de-nuclearisation and all sides must meet each other half-way during negotiations, Russia's foreign minister said.




Kim Yong Chol, believed to be 72, and Pompeo's talks will largely focus on rescheduling the summit. 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. Gen. Kim is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S.in 18 years.

The North Korean leader described the Singapore summit as a landmark opportunity to end decades of confrontation.

He invited Clinton to North Korea, but the visit never happened.

North Korean sources previously told RFA's Korean Service that citizens have been largely unmoved by, if not mistrustful of, state propaganda heralding Kim's diplomatic achievements in the nuclear-armed, sanctions-hit state.

Trump will also host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House on June 7 to discuss the Singapore meeting with Kim. By Wednesday, discussions between the two nations were taking place on at least three parallel tracks: between Pompeo and Kim in NY; in Singapore, where teams are planning logistics for the summit; and along the North Korean-South Korean border.

North Korea denied any involvement in the attack on the ship and on Sony Pictures. Talks could potentially resume Wednesday at the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, a person familiar with North Korea-US relations told CNN.

She referred to Trump's abrupt cancellation of the June 12 summit with the North through an open letter addressed to Kim Jong-un issued on May 24, in response to bellicose rhetoric coming from Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry, and a subsequent series of preparatory meetings since.

Asked what the regime would have to do for the summit to go ahead, a senior state department official said: "Between now and if we're going to have a summit, they're going to have to make clear what they're willing to do".

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