White House says Pompeo to meet senior DPRK official in US

Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit

A senior North Korean official is headed to NY to discuss an upcoming summit, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, the latest indication that an on-again-off-again meeting between Trump and North Korea's leader may go ahead next month.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's dispatch of a top lieutenant to the United States suggests that preparations for a meeting between him and President Donald Trump are in the final stages.

The American president said the summit could go ahead as planned following a more appeasing statement from Pyongyang and productive talks with North Korean officials.

Kim's visit to the United States comes as US and North Korean officials are holding pre-summit meetings both at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the northern side of the inter-Korean demilitarized zone, and in Singapore.

The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again meeting on track.

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Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader's closest aides, landed midafternoon on an Air China flight from Beijing.

The countries were expected to hold another set of working-level meetings in Singapore to discuss protocol, security and other logistical issues for the summit.

Lee was speaking to reporters in London on Sunday, after US President Donald Trump said a delegation was dispatched to the Korean truce village of Panmunjom to prepare for the summit.

Trump confirmed Tuesday that a top North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol, is headed to NY for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It's the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years.

"The president and prime minister affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs".

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"We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea", Trump said in a Twitter post.

"But, as the president has said", she added, "if it doesn't happen June 12 it could happen thereafter".

It has been thrown into uncertainty, after Mr Trump said he would no longer be attending.

They met inside the Demilitarized Zone on the inter-Korean border, and "plan to have additional meetings this week", Sanders said. "Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this".

The Blue House said the attendance of Moon Jae-in will depend on the progress of talks between the United States and North Korean leaders before the summit. Sanctions relief would open the door for more trade with China, South Korea and possibly Russian Federation — partners North Korea trusts more than it trusts Washington — and potentially unlock access to global financial institutions. Kim again expressed willingness to meet Trump and reiterated a pledge to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula made when the Korean leaders first met in April, Moon said. The North's arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland USA cities. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. But there are lingering doubts on whether Kim will every fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies. The last official of his stature to visit the United States was Jo Myong Rok, the late first vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, who visited Washington in 2000, South Korea's Unification Ministry said.

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