Moon, Kim hold surprise meet over US-N. Korea summit

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Trump and Kim Jong Un were set to meet June 12 in Singapore, but Trump last week announced he was pulling out.

"We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. And I suspect, at the end of the day, that there will be a compromise between immediate overnight denuclearization and North Korea's vision of denuclearization, which is, you know, a long-term objective.

After the North's combative statements, there was debate inside the Trump administration about whether it marked a real turn to belligerence or a feint to see how far Kim Jong Un could push the the lead-up to the talks.

Trump's decision to pull out of the summit with Kim came just days after he hosted Moon in a White House meeting where he openly cast doubts on the Singapore meeting but offered no support for continued inter-Korean progress, essentially ignoring the North's recent attempts to coerce the South.

She says Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's vice chairman of the Central Committee, is traveling to NY and will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week.

On a separate but complementary track was the CIA team Pompeo set up previous year when he headed the spy agency.

He sat next to Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is also a White House aide, during February's closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in South Korea, an event that was seen as a turning point in the nuclear crisis.

"Separately, Joe Hagin, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and the United States pre-advance team are in Singapore coordinating the logistics of the expected summit", she further added.

While the China stopover may be simply explained by the lack of a direct route between North Korea and the USA, the destination of NY was a shift from an original plan to go to Washington, D.C.

The Korean leaders' second summit in a month saw bear hugs and broad smiles.

The last time the two sides were scheduled to meet, the North Koreans never materialized and Trump scrapped the summit.

The Koreas' talks, which Moon said Kim requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back-and-forth.

US officials cast the on-again, off-again drama as in keeping with Trump's deal-making style, and reflective of the technically still-warring leaders testing each other.

His journey to the USA caps a frenetic few days of meetings between North Korean and American officials.

Ahead of a potential summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, their negotiators are trying to hash out details over an array of hitherto intractable issues, including denuclearization methods, timelines and security assurances for the isolated regime.

Trump cited hostile comments from North Korea as the reason he withdrew from the potentially historic summit.

And President Trump said over the weekend that we're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea.

Asian stocks and U.S. share futures gained on Monday, while shares in South Korean construction and railway firms surged after Trump said his officials and North Korea have resumed talks to prepare for the summit in June. 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. The teams, led by seasoned American officials, hope to determine what Kim is willing to agree to should he meet with Trump next month. He added that he will also discuss the summit cancellation with Putin. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY. Kim ordered the complex to be finished by April 15 next year to mark the birthday of his late grandfather and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung. The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington.

Moon has insisted Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees.

In remarks on Sunday, Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what denuclearisation means and urged them to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.