A team of American diplomats involved in preparatory discussions ahead of a potential summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have left a hotel in Seoul amid speculation that they are resuming the talks.
"If this summit happens and fails it could suit Kim Jong-un, and if it succeeds it could change the world far more dramatically than they have been expecting".
The president's reference to a bright future echoes recent remarks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo envisioning major investments by US companies and those of other nations if Kim ends his country's pariah status by giving up its nuclear arsenal.
Kim Chang-son, the director of the North's State Affairs Commission Secretariat, who serves as leader Kim's chief of staff, was reported to be part of a North Korean delegation in Beijing on Monday, apparently en route to Singapore for talks with the United States.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader previously met on Saturday (May 26) to discuss Kim's possible upcoming summit with Trump.
The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington. The meetings are expected to go through Monday and Tuesday, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the arrangements.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise two-hour meeting Saturday with Kim on the border in a bid to keep the Trump summit on track.
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The two sides are meeting at Tongilgak on the northern side of the truce village.
Before canceling the summit last week, Trump said that China had eased up enforcement of sanctions on its border. Once he sees that Trump is willing to bully the Chinese a little bit, then I think Kim will actually start to play ball with us.
His entry caused such a stir plain-clothed officials from South Korea's National Counter-terrorism Centre were forced to step in and move him away from the North's cheerleaders who were sitting nearby.
That may mean they will look for confidence-building measures, such as a reduction in US troops in South Korea or joint military drills.
It is unclear when or where Trump and Abe will meet before the anticipated Singapore summit, which the USA president has said in recent days is likely to occur on June 12 after he declared last Thursday that the summit would not be held on that day.
The United States and South Korea blacklisted Kim Yong Chol for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programs in 2010 and 2016, respectively.
"The goal here is to achieve maximum pressure", a senior administration official told The Journal last week. More meetings will take place today.
The Korean leaders' second summit in a month saw bear hugs and broad smiles. "They are going to be best friends right after this meeting".
If we got that done, and if we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it would be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for South Korea.