Summit hangs on Kim letter after nuclear talks make progress

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

US team in North Korea raises expectations of a Trump-Kim summit

Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea had "inwardly highly appreciated" Trump's "bold" decision to meet with Kim Jong Un-indeed, a meeting with a USA president had always been a foreign policy goal of the North Korean regime, which saw it as an opportunity to be presented as an equal to a global power on the world stage.

Pompeo, Trump's former Central Intelligence Agency chief, has traveled to Pyongyang twice in recent weeks for meetings with Kim Jong Un, and has said there is a "shared understanding" between the two sides about what they hope to achieve in talks.

President Trump continued to tease the re-scheduling of a meeting with Kim Jong Un, tweeting on Tuesday that a top North Korean official is en route to New York City for meetings on the possible summit.

Trump's aides will soon assess whether Kim Jong Un is willing to take serious steps before making a final decision on whether to go ahead with the summit, the US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier it was reported Kim Yong Choi was likely heading to the US, with South Korea's Yonhap News saying it saw the vice chairman's name on the passengers' list for a flight from Beijing to Washington on Tuesday.

White House officials maintain that Trump was hopeful the North was merely negotiating but that he was prepared for the letter to mark the end of the two-month flirtation. He is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss a prospective Trump-Kim meeting, according to Sanders. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY. Kim has already had two meetings each with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"It's a good thing to have him onboard", said a former senior South Korean official who worked with Sung Kim in past. Beijing backs the North's proposal for a phased and synchronized denuclearization process, while the United States insists on a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.

Trump confirmed the general was on his way in a tweet and boasted that Washington would have a "great team" for the talks aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.

An intelligence assessment compiled by the CIA and described to NBC News by three United States officials concludes that the Kim Jong-un regime is not prepared to let go of its nuclear arsenal, a finding at sharp odds with some of Trump's recent claims. "What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations (with North Korea) and provide a security guarantee if they do denuclearization", Moon said.

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"What's more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting", Moon told a meeting with senior secretaries.

Yonhap said Kim, who had arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, was travelling with five other North Korean officials.

The talks are focused on what would be the substance of a potential summit between Trump and Kim - the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Kim Yong Chol serves as vice chairman of the Central Committee of North Korea's Worker's party, which faces independent sanctions from the USA government.

Analysts believe the United States is trying to determine whether North Korea is willing to agree to sufficient steps toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons to allow a summit to take place. Regarding the date for the meeting, she added, "We're going to continue to shoot for June 12th".

He sat next to Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is also a White House aide, during February's closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang which was a turning point in the nuclear crisis.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against what it sees as US aggression.

But subsequent comments from the President and White House officials - as well as a surprise inter-Korean summit - have suggested the summit could be back on.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have been holding a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops. South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday there have been no discussions yet between Washington and Seoul on modifying the drills, which usually take place in August.

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