Abe, Trump to meet before US-N.Korea summit

Kim Jong-un commits to North Korea denuclearization as U.S. delegation arrives

The April 27 inter-Korean summit, which produced a vague declaration to work toward denuclearization and a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula, was meant to serve as a springboard for talks between US and North Korean leaders.

North Korea's Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee. It remains unclear whom Kim Yong-chol would meet in the United States if he goes.

The General's trip to the U.S. is another remarkable development in a year of surprises surrounding Korean diplomacy.

WIT: Oh, absolutely. You know, there hasn't been much in the way of diplomacy - open diplomacy between North Korea and the United States for some time.

He also accompanied Kim Jong Un on both of his recent trips to China to meet President Xi Jinping, and held talks with Pompeo when he travelled to Pyongyang.

The talks are expected to continue Monday and Tuesday at Tongilgak, or "Unification House", the building in the northern part of the demilitarized zone where Kim Jong Un met Moon on Saturday. He and Pompeo met twice in Pyongyang during Pompeo's first visit, March 31 to April 1, and then again on May 9, when the US secretary of state accompanied the release of three Americans held captive in North Korea.

The CIA analysis, which was circulated in early May, comes amid President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12.

"A U.S. delegation is in ongoing talks with North Korean officials at Panmunjom", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, referring to a village in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that runs along the heavily armed border between North and South Korea.

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KELEMEN: That's State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, who says there's a USA team meeting with North Koreans in the Demilitarized Zone and in Singapore, where the summit is due to take place.

The talks show that planning for the unprecedented summit, initially scheduled for June 12, is moving ahead after Trump called it off last week in a letter to the North's leader, Kim Jong Un.

USA and North Korean officials met Sunday at the Korean demilitarized zone, and White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and others from the Trump administration flew to Singapore, the planned site for the summit. Details of those talks hadn't emerged yet.

Trump cited hostile comments from North Korea as the reason he withdrew from the potentially historic summit. But there are lingering doubts on whether Kim will ever fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies. The U.S. delegation also included Allison Hooker, the Korea expert on the White House National Security Council.

The officials may discuss bridging the gap between Washington and Pyongyang on what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons would look like. Mr. Moon said Sunday that the North's disarmament could be still be a hard process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don't differ over what "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula means. Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Lavrov would hold talks with North Korea's foreign policy chief to discuss bilateral issues as well as the overall situation on the Korean peninsula.

KELEMEN: He'll be the highest-level North Korean official to come to the U.S.in 18 years.

The warming ties between the two countries chilled after President George W. Bush took office in January 2001, taking a tough line on the North. Sung Kim, the former USA ambassador to South Korea who is now ambassador to the Philippines, led that American delegation, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Those include two deadly attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans and an alleged 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures. Both Seoul and Washington imposed sanctions on him in recent years.

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