White House: U.S. 'continues to actively prepare' for summit

White House: U.S. 'continues to actively prepare' for summit

White House: U.S. 'continues to actively prepare' for summit

At a higher level, meanwhile, the North Korean leader's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol flew to NY to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

A USA delegation is meeting with North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone on the Korean peninsula while a separate team led by Joe Hagin, a White House deputy chief of staff, is in Singapore coordinating logistics for the meeting, Sanders said.

President Trump confirmed Tuesday that a top North Korean official is headed to NY for talks attempting to salvage a summit between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The State Department said a separate team of White House officials has headed to Singapore to sort out logistics.

Officials are discussing the substance of any summit agreement, focusing on the thorny issue of denuclearization, with a North Korean team led by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.

It remains to be seen who Mr Kim will meet when he arrives, having greeted USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo when he arrived in North Korea earlier this month.

Kim Jong-un has expressed a willingness to cooperate to end confrontation between the two Koreans and work toward peace for the sake of a successful summit with Trump, South Korean officials have said.

Former intelligence chief Gen Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000.

"We can expect that Kim [Yong Chol] is visiting the U.S. in order to do final coordination ahead of the June 12 summit".

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She added that the "U.S. continues to actively prepare" for the Trump-Kim summit.

When he was asked by a reporter at the Beijing airport if he was flying to Singapore for talks with the U.S., he said he was "going there to play", according to footage from Nippon TV. The Trump administration has pushed for a quick timeline, while North Korea favors a phased approach. His arrival at Beijing's main airport and departure to NY was confirmed by Kyodo News.

Although Trump has not officially announced that the summit, which he abruptly canceled on Thursday, is back on, his staff is acting as though it is.

Trump said Sunday that a US team was in North Korea to work on plans.

Kim was probably headed to NY, where North Korea has a mission to the United Nations, rather than to Washington because it was easier for him to get a visa there, another U.S. diplomat said.

In New York, Kim Yong Chol is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The United States and South Korea blacklisted Kim Yong Chol for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programs in 2010 and 2016, respectively.

They allowed Moon to push for a US-North Korean summit that he sees as the best way to ease animosity that had some fearing a war a year ago.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Kim on Saturday in an effort to keep the meeting alive.

But General Kim is one of several North Korean officials under U.S. sanctions, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was sure that the USA had taken appropriate administrative steps to allow him to visit NY unmolested.

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