Russian foreign minister to head to North Korea

01 June, 2018, 17:44 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Preparations for the June 12 meeting between the U.S. and the rogue state are underway with top American diplomat Sung Kim crossing the DMZ on Sunday

The meeting, led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin on the USA side and director of department at the State Affairs Commission and Kim Jong Un's chief secretary Kim Chang Son on the DPRK side, will reportedly discuss "practical issues" surrounding the planned summit in Singapore in talks on Tuesday.

Trump, meanwhile, "continues to actively prepare" for an "expected summit" with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

North Korea is sending a senior official to NY for possible talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The talks indicate that planning for the unprecedented summit, 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 Pompeo is also heading to NY this week to meet a top North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol.

"The President and Prime Minister 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 statement read.

And on Sunday, the U.S. State Department said American and North Korean officials had met at Panmunjom.

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.

"What's more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting", Moon said Monday, according to Reuters. Mr. Moon said Sunday that the North's disarmament could be still be a hard process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don't differ over what "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula means.

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The U.S. officials are led by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, who formerly was the U.S. ambassador to Seoul and a top negotiator with North Korea in past nuclear talks. "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".

He was set to fly to Washington on Tuesday but changed his plan, deciding leave for NY on Wednesday, which came amid speculations he could have met Chinese authorities during this interval.

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence and a onetime senior intelligence officer for US forces in South Korea, said he anxious that North Korea's idea of "denuclearization" entails scaling back or eliminating USA strategic forces in the Pacific.

The visit comes.as multiple meetings are taking place in different locations to set the agenda for the summit and the regime's denuclearization.

The foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday that Lavrov would hold talks with North Korea's foreign policy chief to discuss bilateral issues as well as the overall situation on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean movements are being reported as USA officials were seen in Seoul and Panmunjom, conducting working-level talks with the North Koreans over the weekend.

Plans for the high profile sit-down were scrapped by Trump last week, but talks have continued. "It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident", Kim Kye Gwam suggested, poking at president's ego. First of all, I think the visit of Kim Yong Chol to the United States is very significant.

US and South Korean officials haven't confirmed the details of the pre-summit negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang at the border.

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. From North Korea's point of view, he said, a US presence in the country might give Pyongyang a "sense of security" against a possible USA attack. Before he canceled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North.

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