USA team enters North Korea to prepare for summit

Kim may see a meeting with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies

Trump: Plan for June summit with North Korea 'hasn't changed'

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", Trump tweeted late on Sunday.

Trump called it off on Thursday, citing "open hostility" from the North.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) hugs North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un after their second summit at the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on May 26, 2018. 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.

Mr Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, is also part of the team. He ended up getting killed at the hands of USA -backed rebels less than a decade later.

President Donald Trump halted new sanctions on North Korea and directed officials to move forward on plans for a summit with the nation's leader Kim Jong Un next month, Fox News reported.

The Moon and Trump administrations very much want the meeting, he said, "and Kim says he wants a summit, so it's going to happen".

It wasn't immediately clear whether the American officials including Sung Kim, the US ambassador to Manila, were heading Tuesday to the border village between the Koreas where they met with North Korean officials on Sunday. Sung Kim, the former US ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led that American delegation, an American official told Reuters. "We two leaders agreed the June 12 North Korea-US summit must be successfully held", he said. So, if the summit takes place, look for North Korea to agree to anything that might make it look as though diplomacy still had a chance. Abe previously conferred with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate last month; the two men agreed to meet again before the possible June 12 summit.

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But Trump accompanied the cancellation with a letter to Kim that mixed tough language with an nearly beseeching plea to get things back on track.

It has long said it is open to eventually giving up its nuclear arsenal if the USA withdraws its troops from South Korea and ends its "nuclear umbrella" alliance with Seoul.

"He... expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-US summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity", Moon told reporters in Seoul on Sunday.

Mr. Moon has insisted Mr. Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees.

Moon says Kim is also committed to the "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

"There is a fine line between being an honest broker and being the North's accomplice", said Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum in Honolulu.

The South Korean presidential office couldn't confirm the report.

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"You know, what does denuclearization mean?"

The president, who has been raging against a special counsel's probe of his 2016 presidential campaign and potential collusion with Russian Federation, has seen his favourability rise in some polls in recent weeks, with some pointing to his movement with North Korea as a factor in his rising popularity. "And I think unfortunately, the answer is no".

In previous, failed talks, North Korea said it could consider giving up its arsenal if Washington removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

"In Trump's thinking, his "maximum pressure" would've resulted in Kim kneeling and returning to dialogue in surrender anyway if it reached the boiling point", he added. 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.

What was uncertain to Mr Kim was USA intentions, said Mr Moon. "That hasn't changed. And it's moving along pretty well, so we'll see what happens".

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