Global

United States ambassador to the Philippines helping to set up Trump-Kim talks

United States ambassador to the Philippines helping to set up Trump-Kim talks

Trump tweeted Tuesday that he had a "great team" working on the summit, confirming that top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol was headed to NY for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Singapore, delegations from Washington and Pyongyang are working out logistics - where the two heads of state will meet, which officials are to hold how many meetings, security issues and how much will be open to the press.

Kim Yong-chol, North Korea's former spy chief, would become the highest ranked official from the isolated nation to visit the United States since 2000. "Solid response to my letter, thank you!" he tweeted.

Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, is traveling to NY and will meet with Pompeo "later this week", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Victor Cha, who was President George W. Bush's top advisor on North Korea and was briefly expected to get Trump's nod as ambassador to South Korea, said Sunday he was now confident the summit will take place. Later, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the nations' officials have been engaged in talks at the Korean village of Panmunjom, which straddles the border inside the demilitarized zone, or DMZ.

Trump withdrew from a planned June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un last Thursday, citing hostile North Korean comments, but has since said the meeting in Singapore could still happen.

In their second meeting in a month, Moon said Kim expressed willingness to cooperate to end confrontation and work toward peace for the sake of a successful summit with Trump.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", President Trump wrote on Twitter.

He also accompanied Kim Jong Un on both of his recent trips to China to meet President Xi Jinping, and held talks with Pompeo when he travelled to Pyongyang.

The statement said they "affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs". The North's arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland US cities.

There are speculations that the top North Korean official may pay a visit to Trump as a special envoy from Kim Jong-un or convey a letter during the NY trip. "The fact that Kim Yong-chol is visiting the US - that in itself means that coordination between the two is nearly over, . with only a few factors left to be resolved". He visited South Korea as part of the North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics, which drew global attention after the dramatic shift from tension to rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula earlier this year.

U.S. officials familiar with planning said Kim was scheduled to meet Pompeo on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. "It will happen!" the president said, confirming that a USA team "has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit".

In Singapore, a team of US officials was at a hotel on the resort island of Sentosa but declined to comment.

During his time as North Korea's military intelligence chief, Gen Kim was accused of masterminding attacks on the South Korea warship Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island in 2010. -North Korea talks there. His visit to the USA would indicate a waiver was granted.

Kim Yong Chol arrives at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2018.

Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to Trump, told Fox News a summit might not take place on the date originally set but perhaps might go ahead shortly after.

The meeting could take take place in NY, given movement restrictions for North Korean officials in the United States.