South Korea want more talks with North Korea before summit

Hugh Fox
May 29, 2018

The risk-on in US stock futures comes as the State Department confirmed reports that a USA delegation is meeting with North Korean officials to prepare for the summit, which had been set for June 12 in Singapore. Trump also said he sees "brilliant potential" in Pyongyang.

The man had been making rounds near the Marina Bay Sands hotel and the Esplanade yesterday ahead of the summit on June 12, when the actual Kim Jong Un will meet with Trump - the first time a North Korean leader comes face to face with a sitting USA president.

In South Korea, it wasn't immediately clear whether the American officials, including Sung Kim, the US ambassador to Manila, were heading to the Korean village of Panmunjom, which straddles the border inside the Demilitarized Zone, where they met with North Korean officials on Sunday.

News of the meetings in Panmunjom and Singapore came as officials in Seoul started discussing the possibility of Mr Moon joining the summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.

Nauert provided no further details.

Kim Yong-chol sat just metres away from Trump's daughter Ivanka at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February - one of the first signs of a diplomatic thaw between North Korea and the USA and South Korea after tensions over its nuclear weapons reached a breaking point.

The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington.

"Kim's official counterpart is Pompeo but he may also push for meetings with (National Security Advisor John) Bolton and even Trump if possible", Chung told AFP.

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North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs 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 new preliminary talks are set to continue through Tuesday, and are being led by Sung Kim, a former US ambassador to South Korea who has held nuclear program negotiations with North Korea in the past.

The two teams met yesterday on the northern side of Panmunjom.

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

During the Oval Office meeting that including the media, Trump said: "I think there's a lot of goodwill".

The apparent introduction of Gen Kim to negotiations would be significant, as it would underline North Korea's desire to ensure the talks go ahead. "What's unclear for Chairman Kim, in my opinion, is not his willingness for denuclearization but whether he can certainly trust the USA saying that it'll end hostile relations and guarantee the security of his regime after his denuclearization".

With the landmark US-North Korea summit moving along "very nicely" according to US President Donald Trump, Singaporeans were surprised to see Kim Jong Un gamely posing for pictures in the heart of Marina Bay yesterday, armed with a durian and a box of chicken rice.

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.

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South Korea is reviewing ways to address North Korea's security concerns, including turning the current armistice into a peace agreement, a senior Moon administration official said on Sunday.

Moon said on Monday that there could be more impromptu talks between the two Koreas in the lead-up to the summit. More meetings will take place today.

North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, said the Korean leaders had agreed to "high-level" talks between the two countries on June 1.

-North Korea summit. Traders are ignoring the weaker Dollar, but may be reacting to slightly higher U.S. Treasury yields based on the weaker June 10-year U.S. Treasury Note futures contract. "He didn't give in to frustration, he gave Kim a platform to say some things about denuclearization that will play well in the US, and he again showed Trump the mesmerizing all-consuming media impact that a summit can have - something that's bound to appeal".

Hooker, a former East Asian and Pacific affairs analyst with the U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, was appointed director for Korean affairs at the NSC in 2014.

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

"It will happen!" Trump said in a Sunday tweet.

American officials are skeptical that Kim will ever fully abandon his nuclear arsenal. "But he wants to give off this perception that he's this open leader, that he's peaceful, that he's reasonable".

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