United States delegation travels to North Korea for potential summit preparation

North Korea-US summit on track, says Moon, after candid talks with 'friend' Kim Jong-un

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

"President Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on June 7th here at the White House", she said.

James Clapper, director of USA national intelligence under former president Barack Obama, told CNN: "I support the letter that President Trump sent..."

The Koreas' talks, which Moon said Kim requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back-and-forth. What does that signal, and what kind of effect does it have on the talks with the U.S.?

A U.S. official told Reuters that Sung Kim, the former United States ambassador to South Korea, was leading the American delegation to meet North Korean officials at the border.

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Moon said he told Kim that Trump has a "firm resolve" to end hostile relations with North Korea and initiate economic co-operation if Kim implements "complete denuclearization".

He also accompanied Kim Jong Un on both of his recent trips to China to meet President Xi Jinping, and held talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he travelled to Pyongyang.

"Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-US summit", Moon said of his latest summit with the North Korean leader held on Saturday. And that's just the latest in a sign of several steps that have happened since Trump released that dramatic letter late last week canceling the summit that indicate both sides are still talking and seem to be making progress.

A man walks past a TV broadcasting a news report on a cancelled summit between the US and North Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, May 25, 2018. The teams, led by seasoned American officials, hope to determine what Kim is willing to agree to should he meet with Trump next month.

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South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, gave details about his surprise meeting Saturday with Kim in the Panmunjom truce village, saying Kim had committed to sitting down with Trump and to a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Kim Yong Chol is a veteran of diplomacy with South Korea who is considered to be Kim Jong Un's right-hand man.

Pyongyang, with an ill-equipped conventional military force, has long regarded its nuclear arsenal as principal means to counter "U.S. hostility" and ensure its regime's security. The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington.

Seoul's Blue House says it's "carefully" watching the developments between Washington and Pyongyang.

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Trump said in a tweet that Kim Yong Chol was traveling to NY as part of ongoing meetings between the two countries to revive a summit on the future of North Korea's nuclear weapons. The last official of his stature to visit the United States was Jo Myong Rok, the late first vice chairman of the National Defence Commission, who visited Washington in 2000, South Korea's Unification Ministry said. The White House National Security Council tells NPR's Scott Horsley that the USA delegation in Panmunjom is distinct from the team led by Hagin. Moon said North Korea was not convinced it could trust security guarantees from the United States. The U.S. has also accused Kim of orchestrating the 2014 hack that exposed thousands of emails from executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment. And he was a bodyguard to Kim Jong Il, who is the current leader's father - or was his father - and moved up the ranks and, in 2009, essentially became head of the North Korean CIA and during his tenure, of course, has been responsible for violent acts against South Korea but has also had a long history of experience in private negotiations with South Koreans and Americans as well during the Obama administration.

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