Thursday, 21 June, 2018

IT’S ON: White House Says Trump-Kim Summit ‘EXPECTED’ for June 12

North Korea-US summit on track, says Moon, after candid talks with 'friend' Kim Jong-un Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit
| 31 May, 2018, 22:07

While both Trump and Kim have appeared eager to hold the summit, the two sides have remained far apart on the key issue of denuclearisation, with North Korea rejecting US demands for it to unilaterally abandon a nuclear weapons programme that now threatens the United States.

Trump tweeted, "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea". He also was a bodyguard to Kim Jong Il, the former leader and late father of Kim Jong Un, according to North Korea Leadership Watch, an affiliate of the 38 North think tank.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", Mr Trump tweeted. What does that signal, and what kind of effect does it have on the talks with the U.S.? He and Kim Jong Un's sister were the only North Korean officials to attend the historic inter-Korean summit of leaders in April. It will be the most high-level contact between the two countries in the United States since Jo Myong Rok, a marshal, met President Bill Clinton at the White House in 2000.

Kim Yong Chol - a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea - is the highest-ranking official to visit the United States in nearly two decades. Pentagon official Randall Schriver was part of the US team, the official said.

"North Korea's main goal this time is to ease economic sanctions and end diplomatic isolation", Carnegie-Tsinghua's Zhao told Inkstone. Moon held a news conference, telling reporters that Kim was still committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what denuclearization means and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.

Trump and Abe "affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs", the White House said in a statement.

Pyongyang has claimed its ICBMs are capable of reaching the United States.

American officials are skeptical that Kim will ever fully abandon his nuclear arsenal.


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 could push the U.S.in the leadup to the talks.

"If it happens, we'll certainly be ready", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the Singapore summit.

Following an unusually provocative 2017 in which his engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missiles theoretically capable of striking mainland USA cities, Kim has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months.

Moon said the Pyongyang regime reaffirmed its commitment to give up its nuclear weapons but had its own security concerns if it took that step.

The meeting a border truce village came hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a summit between Trump and Kim following a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Trump cancel the highly anticipated meeting before saying it's potentially back on.

In addition to the team on North Korea that Pompeo set up previous year when he was Central Intelligence Agency director, he has now enlisted veteran USA diplomat Sung Kim to help in the process, a senior US official said.

Sanders said that since the president's letter, "the North Koreans have been engaging" with the U.S.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants in 2011 after halting his nascent nuclear program.

But he says a Trump-Kim meeting is "a move in the right direction at least".

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