North Korean official arrives in Beijing en route to US

Minnie Murray
May 29, 2018

It wasn't immediately clear whether the American officials including Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to Manila, were heading Tuesday to the border village between the Koreas where they met with North Korean officials on Sunday.

This weekend, however, Kim Jong-un met with leftist South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the second time in the past two months, seeking support to ensure that he will be allowed some of Trump's time.

A team of US government officials, including Joe Hagin, the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, left the US Yokota air base in Japan for Singapore on Monday, NHK said.

Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines, also served as ambassador to South Korea and was part of the U.S. negotiating team that last held substantive denuclearization talks with North Korea during the George W Bush administration in 2005.

Moon said he told Kim that Trump has a "firm resolve" to end hostile relations with North Korea and initiate economic cooperation if Kim implements "complete denuclearization". Last week, gold formed a potentially bullish closing price reversal bottom after President Trump announced the cancellation of his June 12 meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong-un. "It will happen!" Trump said in the same tweet.

Since then, North Korea has rejected USA demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons program that experts say could threaten the United States.

A North Korean statement issued in response to the news saw DPRK first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan say his country remained prepared to hold face-to-face talks "at any time and in any way".

The two officials know each other well - both were part of their respective delegations that negotiated the 2005 denuclearization agreement through the six-party framework.

The Post said the talks at the border would continue on Monday and Tuesday at Tongilgak, the North's building in Panmunjom, where the truce suspending the 1950-53 Korean War was signed. He said there is a "lot of good will", and that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would be "a great thing".

A former US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, also on CBS, expressed concern Pyongyang may demand the removal or scaling back of American troops in South Korea in exchange for denuclearization.

A senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing on Tuesday en route to the United States to hold preparatory talks over a possible summit between the leaders of the two countries, media reported.

Kim and Trump's initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over the North's nuclear program.

"We're pretty far along now, and so, on balance, I'm modestly in favor of this going forward, and on balance, I'm modestly thinking it's more rather than less likely that it will happen", said Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency during the Bush administration, on ABC's "This Week" yesterday.

"Chairman Kim agreed on that", he added.

Before he cancelled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North. Yet over the longer term, Moon's desire to cut a peace deal with North Korea during his single five-year term means Trump could find it harder to enforce his "maximum pressure" campaign if talks break down again.

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