A U.S. delegation arrived in North Korea on Sunday for preparatory talks ahead of a potential meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump himself revealed on Sunday.
"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself," Trump tweeted. "I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!"
Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2018
The CNN reported that across Asia, Trump administration officials have been dispatched to carry out Trump's directive. U.S. officials are calling it a high-stakes scramble, with an uncertain ending, as Trump has pressed his advisers to move ahead with the goal of meeting on June 12, despite concerns among top national security staff there isn't enough time to prepare. The U.S. President has publicly discarded those worries and sent signals he is intent on carrying out the talks he himself cancelled only four days ago.
On Monday, White House aides were awaiting word from a U.S. team of negotiators posted along the Korean Demilitarized Zone for talks with officials from North Korea. Three thousand miles away in Singapore, a team of U.S. logistics officials arrived late Monday and was expecting the arrival of a corresponding team from Pyongyang.
The group included U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, and is a clear sign the summit between the two leaders is back on track. Kim is meeting with Choe Son Hui, an experienced North Korean diplomat who specializes in the country's relationship with Washington.
The sudden flurry of activity comes after Trump cancelled the summit through a personal letter to Kim in which he cited the regime’s hostile attitude as the reason for the cancellation. North Korea responded with saying that it was still willing to talk and was serious about its intention of denuclearization. This seems to have led Trump to reconsider the cancellation and he told reporters Friday, May 25 he appreciated their (DPRK’s) statement and that dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang was ongoing. He said Saturday evening: "We're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed."
Soon after Friday’s announcement came news that South Korean President Moon Jae-in held an impromptu meeting with Kim on Saturday, May 26 at the demilitarized zone dividing the two countries. This is only the fourth time a meeting had been held between the leaders of the two Koreas and comes just a month after the historic 3rd Inter-Korean Summit.
While briefing reporters on his meeting, Moon said that practical talks will be held between the US and North Korea "very soon," and the outcome of those talks will dictate if the June 12 summit will go ahead.