Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

President Trump Says Summit With North Korea is Back On - Katie Pavlich

Sergei Lavrov GETTYSergei Lavrov is set to visit North Korea following an invitation from Ri Yong-ho
Ebony Burgess | 02 June, 2018, 04:30

Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June is back on, the U.S. president says, a week after it was scrapped.

In a related news, an official from Trump's State Department said, "Between now and if we're going to have a summit, they're going to have to make clear what they're willing to do".

Mr. Trump also revealed that he told North Korean vice chairman Kim Yong-chol that the USA will hold off on imposing more economic sanctions against Pyongyang while they are working towards a denuclearization agreement.

After the NY meetings, Pompeo said the two sides made "real progress" but declined to discuss specifics.

But his comments Thursday come at a sensitive moment, when a senior North Korean official was in NY for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the planned summit.

Kim Yong Chol arrived in NY on Wednesday for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They continued to speak and posed for photos before Kim got into a black SUV and departed.

In some ways, the open-ended picture Trump painted on Friday was a confirmation of what many analysts had long speculated - that he didn't have a concrete plan in mind when he initially agreed to the summit in March, a spur of the moment decision made without consulting his senior advisers.

While admitting that dealing with North Korea was "going to be a process", Trump said he believed that process would ultimately be "successful".

It was a extraordinary softening of tone toward North Korea from a president who a year ago threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the country because of the threat its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles pose to the United States.

The United States previously blacklisted Mr Kim, who once served as a bodyguard to the current leader's father Kim Jong-il, from coming to the United States because of his role in North Korea's military establishment.

That would include keeping scientific, engineering and technical capabilities and personnel, which would be seen by Kim as his insurance policy to ensure he could stay in power, officials said.

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U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters prior to departing Washington en route Houston, Texas from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., May 31, 2018.

Trump said he believed Kim Jong Un would agree to denuclearization.

In particular, he wants a formal end to the Korean conflict and is likely to seek worldwide recognition and guarantees against any strike by the USA forces stationed across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in South Korea.

The meeting follows two landmark summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in the last five weeks.

The task before Trump is particularly daunting in this case, since never before has a country with a nuclear program as advanced as Kim Jong Un's simply given it away.

Kim Yong Chol was greeted Friday by White House chief of staff John Kelly, who brought him inside the White House to meet President Donald Trump.

Pompeo warned at a news conference after talks with Kim Yong Chol in NY on Wednesday and Thursday that the path to better relations would not be easy.

United States officials now expect the summit to go ahead, but they want Pyongyang to accept that nuclear disarmament be at the heart of the discussion - and warn there can be no end to trade sanctions without it. However, his comments were the most positive from any USA official since Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North. "I may be in for a big surprise, folks", he told the journalists.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee, was allowed into the United States despite being on a US sanctions list.

Known as the North Korean leader's right-hand man, Kim Yong-chol is expected to carry a personal letter from Kim amid reports the young leader is committed to denuclearization and a meeting with Trump.

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