South Korea want more talks with North Korea before summit

01 June, 2018, 17:44 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • The US President was speaking as he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House

Kim Yong Chol would be the highest-level North Korean official to travel to the United States since 2000, when Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington and met President Bill Clinton amid warming ties between the wartime foes.

"Solid response to my letter, thank you!" tweeted Trump.

The White House has said that preparations will continue while the final decision on whether to proceed with the summit is made.

But aides nearly immediately suggested the meeting could still get back on track.

The North had tested missiles believed to be capable of reaching the United States, but Trump has vowed not to let Pyongyang develop one that could deliver a nuclear warhead.

Sung Kim, the former US ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led that American delegation, an American official told Reuters.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said he's skeptical that Mr. Kim will agree to completely give up his country's nuclear capabilities, saying the leader has an nearly emotional attachment to them and that they make him feel prestigious and powerful. "But what I can say from my observation", she adds, "is that the Chinese have no interest in sabotaging the summit with Kim Jong-un". Trump's letter, the aides said, was created to pressure the North on the worldwide stage for appearing to have cold feet.

"I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done", Mr. Trump said.

General Kim Yong Chol landed at Beijing airport on Tuesday and will journey on to NY on Wednesday, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. Kim may see a meeting with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.

Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk also did not say whether Seoul knew of any U.S. plans regarding Kim Yong-chol's possible visit, such as whether he and Pompeo have plans to meet.




Kim is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations.

Simultaneously, Kim met Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and, according to official news agency KCNA, said the North's "will for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula still remains unchanged and consistent and fixed". There's also speculation that American officials are trying to persuade the North Koreans to export a certain number of their nuclear warheads overseas at an early stage as proof of their commitment to denuclearise.

But this morning he tweeted: "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea". It includes senior officials with the National Security Council and the Pentagon.

In addition to the border talks, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a "pre-advance team" left for Singapore on Sunday morning to work on logistics for a possible summit.

USA and North Korean officials are charging ahead with negotiations in multiple locations to set a joint agenda and lay groundwork for the June 12 summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

But analysts say North Korea will be unwilling to cede its nuclear deterrent unless it is given security guarantees the USA will not try to topple the regime.

Moon said Saturday's summit with Kim, which was organised on short notice after the North Korean leader requested a meeting, should be a model for increased contact between the leaders of the two Koreas.

Russian Federation says Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will travel to North Korea for talks on Thursday.

Officials also told NBC News that the report stated that Kim might be willing to open a Western hamburger franchise in the capital of Pyongyang as a gesture of goodwill toward Trump.

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