Top aide to North Korean leader lands in Singapore as summit preparations advance: NHK
A top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Monday night, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said Tuesday, the latest indication that the on-again-off-again summit with U.S. President Donald Trump is going ahead, APA reports quoting Rueters.
Kim Chang Son, Kim’s de facto chief of staff, flew to Singapore via Beijing on Monday night, the report said.
At the same time, a team of U.S. government officials, including the White House deputy chief of staff for operations Joe Hagin, left U.S. Yokota Air Base in Japan for Singapore on Monday, NHK said.
The White House said a “pre-advance” team was traveling to Singapore to meet with North Koreans.
The reports indicate that planning for the historic summit, initially scheduled for June 12, is moving ahead after Trump called it off last week. A day later, Trump said he had reconsidered, and officials from both countries were meeting to work out details.
When Kim Chang Son was asked by a reporter at the Beijing airport if he was flying to Singapore for talks with the United States, he said he was “going there to play,” according to footage from Nippon Television Network.
In a flurry of diplomacy over the weekend, Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting on Saturday at the border village of Panmunjom, during which they agreed the North Korea-U.S. summit must be held.
And on Sunday, the U.S. State Department said American and North Korean officials had met at Panmunjom. Sung Kim, the former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led that American delegation, an American official told Reuters.
Moon said Monday there could be more impromptu talks between the two Koreas in the lead-up to the summit.
In Kim and Moon’s first, upbeat meeting on April 27, they agreed to seek the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula - but didn’t define what that meant, or how that would proceed.
Since then, North Korea has rejected U.S. demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons program that experts say could threaten the United States.
Analysts believe Washington is trying to determine whether North Korea is willing to agree on sufficient steps toward denuclearization to allow a summit to take place.
North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against perceived aggression by the United States, which keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
It has long said it is open to eventually giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States withdraws its troops from South Korea and ends its “nuclear umbrella” alliance with Seoul.
Related news releases
- 25.06.2018Indonesia: 3 civiliians killed in separatist attack
- 25.06.2018Abbas Ready to Meet Netanyahu in Moscow - Palestinian Ambassador
- 25.06.2018Elections in Turkey held in compliance with int’l standards: TURKPA
- 24.06.2018Russian military demines Syria's Al-Naseriyah, South Douma
- 24.06.2018Senior Iranian Commander killed in Syria
- 24.06.2018Landmark day for Saudi women as kingdom's controversial driving ban ends
- 23.06.2018Turkey neutralizes at least 11 PKK terrorists in ops
- 23.06.20186 killed in landslide in Myanmar's northernmost state
- 22.06.2018Turkish army neutralizes 87 PKK terrorists in a week
- 22.06.2018Saudi-led coalition faces tough battle for Yemen's Hodeidah port
- 21.06.2018Trump: North Korea blowing up test sites, 'total denuclearization...has already started'
- 21.06.2018Syria’s Idlib rocked by twin bombings; 5 killed
- 21.06.2018North Korea preparing to destroy ICBM test site
- 21.06.201810 killed in road accident in NW Pakistan
- 21.06.2018Turkish airstrikes cause serious losses to PKK in Iraq
- 20.06.2018More than 240 undocumented migrants held across Turkey
- 20.06.2018Iran says no plans to increase missile range, rejects talks with Trump
- 20.06.2018North Korea expected to begin transferring remains of U.S. troops soon: officials
- 20.06.2018North Korea, China discuss 'true peace', denuclearization: KCNA
- 20.06.2018Uzbekistan starts direct negotiations with Taliban
- 20.06.2018Afghan president offers year of ceasefire to Taliban
- 19.06.2018Iran rules out OPEC deal as Russia, Saudi push for oil output hike
- 19.06.2018Russia, Saudi push for big hike in oil output despite Iran opposition
- 19.06.2018MERS kills scores in Saudi Arabia
- 19.06.2018North Korea's Kim in China; U.S., South Korea suspend military drill
- 19.06.2018US, Turkey start patrols in Manbij
- 19.06.2018Jordan’s king, Israeli PM hold discussions in Amman
- 18.06.2018Six Iraqis killed in Daesh ambush near Mosul: Official
- 18.06.2018US airstrikes kill 22 Hashd al-Shaabi fighters in Iraq
- 18.06.2018Turkish soldiers enter outer districts of north Syria's Manbij
- 16.06.2018Turkey hits 'critical gathering' of PKK in north Iraq
- 16.06.2018Blast taints cease-fire in Afghanistan, 20 killed
- 15.06.2018Yemen gov’t forces take Al-Hudaydah’s southern entrance
- 14.06.2018Kashmiri journalist shot dead
- 14.06.2018Moon celebrates peace as Koreas hold military talks
- 13.06.2018Arab states launch biggest assault of Yemen war with attack on main port
- 13.06.2018Russian military seize arms cache in Syria’s Homs province
- 13.06.2018Iraq: Al-Sadr allies with Fatah to form majority group
- 12.06.2018Trump: North Korea sanctions will remain, but ‘war games’ to end
- 12.06.2018Trump and Kim sign document following Singapore meeting
- 29.05.2018Plane crash in Iran kills 2, injures 1
- 29.05.2018Senior North Korea envoy to hold talks in U.S. about summit
- 31.05.2018Iran asks OPEC support amid US sanctions
- 29.05.2018Japanese, US Leaders to Meet Before Planned US-N. Korea Summit
- 29.05.2018Hashd al-Shaabi, police clashes kill 2 in Iraq’s Mosul
- 29.05.2018South Korea calls for more impromptu talks with North Korea as U.S. prepares for summit