Donald Trump says summit with Kim Jong Un still on the cards

Donald Trump says summit with Kim Jong Un still on the cards

A United States team is holding talks with North Korean officials to prepare a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon also suggested a US-North Korean hotline could be opened in future, and possibly a three-way hotline with South Korea, though he said a trilateral summit should be held first. Marco Rubio's comment during his earlier appearance on "This Week" Sunday that Kim Jong Un is not going to denuclearize.

Pentagon official Randall Schriver was part of the USA team, the official said. However, it could not be immediately confirmed whether he was the Pentagon official involved in Sunday's talks.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Sunday a U.S. delegation held talks with officials from North Korea inside the Demilitarized Zone - an area created at the end of the Korean War -, adding that preparations were moving ahead for a meeting between Trump and Kim.

"Chairman Kim and I have agreed that the June 12 summit should be held successfully, and that our quest for the Korean peninsula's denuclearisation and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted", Mr. Moon said.

"It was like an ordinary encounter between friends", he said of his Saturday meeting with Kim Jong Un.

Sue Mi Terry of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Jean Lee of the Wilson Center and former AP bureau chief in North Korea told "Face the Nation" that the president's stunning move to upend the June 12 talks may have been a "reality check" for the reclusive regime.

Asked if there is a plan to hold high-level inter-Korean talks to discuss follow-up measures to the April 27 summit agreement, the spokesman said that nothing has been determined.

"This is a great step", said Vipin Narang, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at MIT, noting that the summit preparation was best handled by experts behind the scenes rather than in public forums like Twitter. He said Kim has already made great progress on nuclear and ballistic missile technology. They've consolidated their strategic nuclear deterrent, they've decided that they can push through with negotiations - not only with the United States but also with South Korea and re-engage China.

Gettyimages 85806974
(LEAD) South Korea vows to faithfully implement summit agreement with NK

Following an unusually provocative 2017 in which Kim's engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missiles theoretically capable of striking mainland US cities, the North Korean leader has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months. "This will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal", Pence told Fox News this week.

Terry agreed, saying it's going to be a "long way to go before we get to complete, irreversible dismantlement of the North Korea's nuclear program because it is still reversible".

North Korea rejected outright calls from U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton to follow the Libya model of quickly giving up its nuclear weapons before it gets anything in return.

Still, it might be able to narrow the gap. "But what they're looking for is a peace treaty, normalization of relations between Pyongyang and Washington", Terry said.

Tensions were calmed after Kim extended an olive branch by offering to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, sparking a rapid detente that led to Trump agreeing to hold direct talks with Pyongyang.

"We continue to prepare for a meeting between the President and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un", she said in a statement.

The unexpected summit - the second between Kim and Moon in as many months, and just the fourth between leaders of the two countries since the Korean War - reflects urgency among both men to maintain momentum for diplomacy.

"A lot of people are working on it", Trump said.

Related Articles