North and South Korean leaders meet again

North and South Korean leaders meet again

Kim Yong Chol will be the most senior North Korean official to meet top officials for talks in the United States since Jo Myong Rok, a marshal, met then-President Bill Clinton at the White House in 2000.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim Jong Un is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the global legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

Trump accused Kim of showing "open hostility" toward Washington, adding US nuclear weapons are far superior to North Korea's - and "so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used".

General Kim is one of several North Korean officials under US sanctions, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was sure the USA had taken appropriate steps to allow him to visit NY unmolested.

Trump later on Saturday tweeted that the summit, if it does happen, will likely take place on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned.

On Tuesday, South Korea's foreign ministry said it will focus "all efforts" to lay the groundwork for the success of ongoing diplomacy with the North.

INSKEEP: So this helps to explain why it would have been that Mike Pompeo, then the Central Intelligence Agency director, would ultimately have been the person who went to meet Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, to see what the next step was.

But analysts say North Korea will be unwilling to cede its nuclear deterrent unless it is given security guarantees that the USA will not try to topple the regime. The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington.

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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.

She says Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's vice chairman of the Central Committee, is traveling to NY and will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week. Now, according to a statement from State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Sunday, a USA delegation "is in ongoing talks with North Korean officials at Panmunjom", too.

Trump said Sunday that a USA team was in North Korea to work on plans.

While Kim Yong Chol's possible trip to the United States could further brighten the prospects for the summit, history shows that things could still crumble at the last minute even after an exchange of high-level officials.

Before he canceled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North. A US team crossed into the DMZ over the weekend for talks with their North Korean counterparts on the substance of a possible Trump-Kim summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's dispatch of a top lieutenant to the United States suggests that preparations for a meeting between him and President Donald Trump are in the final stages. The two leaders embraced as Moon departed.

The same day, Abe's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also expressed hope that a Trump-Kim meeting would result in "progress on the nuclear and missile issues and above all the abductee issue". But Moon said Sunday that he and Kim chose to meet again, rather than have a telephone conversation, as their aides suggested "candid" face-to-face talks between the leaders. He also represented the United States at the six-party talks, the failed diplomatic effort in which China, Russia, Japan, the USA and South Korea negotiated with North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. He also said it's regrettable that the summit will not take place, but that he respects Trump's decision.

Saturday's summit marked the fourth meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas since they were divided at the end of the World War II in 1945.

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