Diplomacy heats up before Trump-Kim summit

Kim Jong-un commits to North Korea denuclearization as U.S. delegation arrives

North Korea claimed to be surprised and "full of regret" at President Donald Trump's decision to cancel the planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

A top North Korean official boarded a flight in Beijing on Wednesday bound for NY and talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Korea's Yonhap reported.

This image, using file photos from the AP and EPA, shows (from L to R) Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The North Korean side is led by Kim Chang Son, who effectively serves as chief of staff to Kim Jong Un.

Trump announced in a tweet Tuesday that a senior North Korean official, Kim Young Chol, was on his way to NY for meetings with USA officials.

Kim Yong Chol, who is about 72, is a contentious figure outside North Korea.

US lawmakers said that while renewed discussions about the Trump-Kim summit are a positive step, the USA can't give away too much and should be wary of any supposed commitments coming from Mr. Kim.

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The US and North Korean governments will need to negotiate the terms and conditions of denuclearisation and the scope of verification of the programme's destruction, Chun said.

"Leading up to the summit, I anticipate his role will be an extension of the work he is doing now", said Wi Sung-lac, former South Korean nuclear negotiator with the North, "persuading both sides to remain at the table as they negotiate in advance of the summit, and helping them see points they can agree on". Regarding the date for the meeting, she added, "We're going to continue to shoot for June 12th". And he also issued a series of tweets around Memorial Day, including one in which the president said those who died defending the nation would be, quote, "very happy and proud" of how well the country is doing today. Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk also did not say whether Seoul knew of any USA plans regarding Kim Yong Chol's visit, such as whether he and Pompeo will meet.

The talks indicate that planning for the unprecedented summit on curbing Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, initially scheduled for June 12, is moving ahead after Trump called it off last week in a letter to the North's leader, Kim Jong Un. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is slated to meet with Mr. Kim this week. North Korea and the United States are still technically at war and have no diplomatic ties because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

Or, as others wondered, did the reference to master poker-playing signal Trump's recognition that China's Xi was cleverly playing all the cards in his hand, from North Korea and US-China trade issues to great-power relations?

North Korea has rejected USA demands that it unilaterally abandon its nuclear program.

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"We agreed to meet before the U.S".

A former military spy chief, Kim Yong Chol has been a central player in the recent thaw in relations between North Korea and South Korea, as well as the United States.

HORSLEY: We now know that location was North Korea.

Roh and his predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, advocated the "sunshine policy" of engaging with North Korea.

Both the State Department and South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the American and North Korean officials have been engaged in talks at the Korean village of Panmunjom, which straddles the border inside the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ.

"They traveled to Singapore to focus on logistics preparations", a White House official confirmed to VOA News on Monday. "This will be our last missile", Kim reportedly told Albright at the time, in an apparent reference to a medium-range ballistic missile the North fired over Japan two years earlier, which stunned the region.

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