Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

"Imperative" To Dismantle North Korean Weapons, Say Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe

"I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day", Trump said.

North Korea has reportedly dispatched top officials to the United States and Singapore, the latest indication that the on-again-off-again summit with US President Donald Trump may go ahead.

Trump withdrew from planned June 12 Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un last Thursday, but quickly announced that it could get back on track.

Moon said North Korea and the United States will soon start working-level talks to prepare for the Kim-Trump summit.

South Korean President Moon met the North Korean leader Saturday for a second time at the border village of Panmunjom, a month after the pair convened there to proclaim "a new era of peace" on the peninsula.

Sung Kim, a former ambassador to South Korea who has also negotiated with North Korea over its weapons program, is heading the U.S. team in the Hermit Kingdom.

Trump said "I'd rather not say" whether he has spoken with North Korea's leader.

"Because, if they don't have money, they can't launch missiles, they can't detonate nukes, and Kim Jong Un can't give gifts to senior regime members in order to buy loyalty, which means he has to give up his weapons".

Just days after announcing the cancellation of the meeting on Twitter, Trump tweeted that USA officials had already arrived in Singapore over the weekend to prepare for it. The Washington Post reported that Sung Kim, a former USA ambassador to South Korea, is leading the delegation and met Sunday with North Korea's vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui.

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Lindsey Ford, who now serves as Director of Political-Security Affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute, wrote an op-ed last week for The New York Times claiming that Trump was "outplayed" by North Korea and that the letter the president sent to North Korean Dictator Kim was proof that the administration has "undermined its own leverage".

The report said meetings with Sum's group would continue through Tuesday at Unification House, in the northern part of the demilitarized zone.

"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".

CNN's Brooke Baldwin began by asking Ford why Trump got "outplayed" by North Korea. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore.

Moon said North Korea was not convinced it could trust security guarantees from the United States. But he and Republican Senator Marco Rubio agreed it's unrealistic to expect Kim to give up his nuclear weapons. A few hours later, Trump abruptly canceled the summit, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" in recent North Korean comments.

On Monday, White House aides were awaiting word from a USA team of negotiators posted along the Korean Demilitarized Zone for talks with officials from North Korea.

"There are meetings going on as we speak", he said. In his Sunday press conference, Moon said that the meaning of denuclearization was a question the US and North Korea needed to decide without South Korea's help.

The fast and complete denuclearization of North Korea isn't a realistic goal, experts said.

Moon's surprise meeting with Kim on Saturday shows he's willing to do what it takes to keep diplomacy on track and avoid a return to threats of war over North Korea's nuclear program.

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