Vietnam 'willing' to host Trump-Kim summit

19 January, 2019, 00:41 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • South Korea's government sent out emergency alerts on Sunday to warn about the high dust levels expected yesterday

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said he and two other North Korean officials were booked on a United Airlines flight Thursday from Beijing to Washington.

Kim Yong Chol, a right-hand man to leader Kim Jong Un, is the first North Korean dignitary in almost two decades known to have spent the night in the USA capital, little more than a year after Trump was threatening to wipe the totalitarian state off the map.

Tokyo says the South Korean destroyer's fire-control radar (STIR-180) locked onto a Japanese maritime patrol plane that was flying overhead for surveillance purposes.

Pompeo had planned to meet his North Korean counterpart to discuss the second summit of November 2018, however, the meeting was postponed.

A source told the US cable news channel that the letter was flown to Pyongyang and delivered by hand over the weekend.

A White House official, while not confirming plans for Friday's meeting, said "a lot of positive things" are happening related to North Korea's denuclearization.

Washington and Pyongyang have yet to decide on a time and location for a second Kim-Trump summit but are aiming for early this year, according to USA officials.

"Kim wouldn't come and meet with Pompeo - and possibly Trump - if he thought he was coming to get the short end of the stick", said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues.

The U.S. and North Korea seemed close to war at points during 2017.

"While the president is promising dialogue with Chairman Kim, we still await concrete steps by North Korea to dismantle the nuclear weapons that threaten our people and our allies in the region", Pence said in an address to USA ambassadors and other senior American diplomats at the State Department.

The last time Kim Yong-chol and Pompeo were scheduled to meet, in NY in November, the State Department abruptly announced the meeting's postponement at a day's notice, reportedly at the North's request.

Despite a lack of progress, Trump has been keen to hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un and could meet again with his envoy this week.

North Korea hates the drills, which it considers a rehearsal for an invasion.

The United States is considering easing sanctions in exchange for the North's discarding and sending overseas its intercontinental ballistic missiles, in addition to freezing its nuclear programme, the Chosun Ilbo said, citing its source.

CNN quoted a source familiar with the US-North Korea talks as saying that Kim Yong Chol would be carrying a new letter for Trump.

"The review states that North Korea has yet to achieve the capability to credibly threaten the USA homeland".

White House deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino described the earlier meeting Pompeo and U.S. Special Representative Steve Beigun had with Kim Yong Chol as a good one.

The meeting was initially planned for last week but was postponed to later this week as the partial U.S. government shutdown, which began on December 22, continues, a ministry official said. -North Korea conversations were continuing.

The document also assessed that the North has a "considerable amount of highly enriched uranium", an ingredient that gives North Korea a second route to manufacture nuclear weapons along with its stockpile of 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of weaponized plutonium, which civilian experts say is enough for at least eight bombs.



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