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Team Arrives in North Korea for Trump-Kim Summit Talks

29 May, 2018, 11:44 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • South Korea Kim Jong Un is OK with ‘complete’ denuclearization

According to the State Department, the US team met with North Korean officials at the same DMZ site, the village of Panmunjom.

In a tweet Sunday, President Trump said the USA delegation had arrived in North Korea to continue planning for the summit with Kim Jong Un.

The American president said the summit could go ahead as planned following a more appeasing statement from Pyongyang and productive talks with North Korean officials.

He's trying to find out if Kim Jong Un is really willing to give up his nuclear weapons. "It will happen!" Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

A team led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin is scheduled to be in Singapore this weekend, meeting with North Korean officials to plan for the June 12 summit.

Trump pulled out of the meeting Kim Jong Un last week, but then said a day later that it could get back on track.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programmes as a deterrent against perceived aggression by the United States, which keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The United States has struggled to slow the isolated country's weapons programs, which have become a security priority for Washington given Pyongyang's promise to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

A delegation of United States envoys met with North Korean officials Sunday in Panmunjom to work out details of the summit.

A photo provided by South Korea's Presidential Blue House shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, walking after their surprise meeting on Saturday in Panmunjom.

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A broad liberalization of the North Korean economy that involves the free movement of people and information is unlikely too, says Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

"If we could hold working-level, back-to-back talks on both sides of Panmunjom if urgently necessary in addition to formal summits, it would expedite faster advancement of inter-Korean relations".

Pence had remarked that North Korea could wind up like Libya - a country mired in chaos since it gave up its nuclear ambitions and saw its longtime dictator killed years later by US -backed rebels. The goal of the preliminary meetings includes drafting a communiqué for both leaders to approve at their historic meeting, the United States official said.

While China's government publication claims North Korea came out looking better from its insulting approach to the United States than the trump administration, the Global Times lamented that it was possible that North Korea's change in tone following the first cancelation of the summit "may encourage the White House's obsession with its hard-line approach".

"Chairman Kim agreed on that", he added.

"If the summit is going to happen, I'm going to guarantee it won't just be me".

Mr Trump had rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Mr Kim, citing "open hostility" from the Pyongyang regime.

Meanhwile, North Korean authorities still have doubts whether the country can trust USA promises to provide Pyongyang with security guarantees in case of full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday. Yet over the longer term, Mr Moon's desire to cut a peace deal with North Korea during his single five-year term means Mr Trump could find it harder to enforce his "maximum pressure" campaign if talks break down again.

Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi agreed in 2003 to give up his weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms, in return for sanctions relief.

Trump dismissed the so-called Libya model. Sanders, his spokeswoman, told Fox News on 15 May: "This is the President Trump model. He's going to run this the way he sees fit".

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