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27 May, 2018 17:56

US officials in talks with North Korea over Trump-Kim summit – State Department

US officials in talks with North Korea over Trump-Kim summit – State Department

A US delegation is holding talks with North Korean officials on the border between North and South Korea as a meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is being prepared, the US State Department said.

“A US delegation is in ongoing talks with North Korean officials at Panmunjom [a village on the border between North and South Korea]. We continue to prepare for a meeting between the President and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un,” Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Donald Trump later confirmed on Twitter that the US officials arrived in North Korea to arrange his meeting with Kim. The US leader also expressed confidence that North Korea will be “a great economic and financial Nation one day.”

Earlier on Sunday, a source told the Washington Post that former US ambassador to South Korea Sung Kim had crossed into North Korea to negotiate with Pyongyang’s Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui. The US envoy was reportedly accompanied by Allison Hooker, the Korea specialist on the National Security Council and an undisclosed official from the Defense Department.

The meetings between the officials from Washington and Pyongyang are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday with the aim of organizing “any summit” between Trump and Kim on the North Korean nuclear program, the source said.

READ MORE: US officials cross into North Korea ‘to prepare Trump-Kim talks’ – report

The fate of the summit, which was initially scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, has been hanging in the balance since Thursday when Trump cancelled the talks over “tremendous anger and open hostility” in Pyongyang’s statements. But a day later, the US president hinted that the much-anticipated meeting with Kim might eventually take place, citing “very productive talks” with North Korea and its commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue.

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