Trump All But Confirms Historic Summit With Kim Is Back On As US Officials Enter North Korea

Update: confirming that Trump's "dear Kim" letter was just a negotiating tactic, the WaPo reports that the US exploratory team is back in North Korea as Reuters previewed yesterday:

  • U.S. OFFICIALS CROSS INTO NORTH KOREA FOR SUMMIT PREPARATION TALKS DESPITE UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING TRUMP-KIM MEETING - WASHINGTON POST

According to WaPo sources, former US ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, crossed into North Korea on Sunday to hold talks with Pyongyang’s Vice-Foreign Minister, Choe Son Hui. The US envoy is accompanied by Allison Hooker, the Korea specialist on the National Security Council and an undisclosed official from the Defense Department, the source said.

The meetings between US and N.Korean officials are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday with the aim of organizing “any summit” between Trump and Kim on the North Korean nuclear program.  Sung Kim and Choe reportedly know each other well as they were both involved in nuclear talks in previous years.

* * *

One day after Saturday's "surprise" second summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday that his Northern counterpart Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to “complete” denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to a planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Chairman Kim clearly appealed once again that his intent to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula is firm,” Moon said quoted by Reuters.

Moon Jae-in with Kim Jong Un on Saturday. Source: Blue House

The statement came one day after Moon and Kim agreed that the possible North Korea-U.S. summit must be held: “Chairman Kim and I have agreed that the June 12 summit should be held successfully, and that our quest for the Korean peninsula’s denuclearization and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted,” Moon said.

Moon also explained that he held Saturday’s impromptu summit - the second between the two sides in a month - after Kim asked for a meeting “without any formality”.

“A meeting was held because officials of both countries thought that meeting face-to-face would be better than a phone call,” Moon said, noting that the summit was in line with previous agreements for the two leaders to meet more often.

The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again meeting on track.

North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, said the Korean leaders had agreed to “high-level” talks between the two countries on June 1. “They shared the opinion that they would meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts,” KCNA said. KCNA also said that Kim expressed “his fixed will” on the possibility of meeting Trump as previously planned; the agency also said the two leaders had reached a “satisfactory consensus” and expressed “their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”.

Meanwhile, on Saturday night President Trump also indicated he too was effectively ready to proceed with the summit, telling reporters that direct talks with North Korea are talking place and meetings were taking place "as we speak" in an unidentified location to push ahead with the summit which Trump unexpectedly canceled last week due to "open hostility" from North Korea. And just to make sure that the meeting takes place as previously scheduled, a White House team will travel to Singapore to continue preparations for the on-again, off-again meeting.

“We’re doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea,” Trump said. “We’re looking at June 12 in Singapore. That hasn’t changed, and it’s moving along pretty well. So we’ll see what happens.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday it “firmly” hoped the summit could happen as scheduled and be successful and reiterated a call for both sides to be patient and show goodwill.

“We have always believed that direct contacts and dialogue between the leaders of North Korea and the United States are crucial to resolving the peninsula nuclear issue,” it said.

* * *

As previously discussed, the biggest tension and dispute between the U.S. and North Korea boils down to how fast Kim should give up his weapons, and what he’ll get in return. Previously, North Korea rejected outright calls from U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton to follow the "Libya model" of quickly giving up its nuclear weapons before it gets anything in return, and for obvious reasons: Libya's dictator Moammar Qaddafi was killed in an uprising several years later.

Moon on Sunday dodged a question on whether Kim clearly mentioned if he would agree to the U.S. demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization:  "What’s unclear for Chairman Kim, in my opinion, is not his willingness for denuclearization but whether he can certainly trust the U.S. saying that it’ll end hostile relations and guarantee the security of his regime after his denuclearization," Moon said.

In other words, Kim is worried that Trump will pull another Iran and reneg on a deal shortly after it has been enacted.

“If North Korea and the U.S. are to have a summit, then their summit is possible only after they confirm each other’s intention on that regard,” Moon said, however also confirming that the historic summit is all but assured after last week's negotiating detour by Trump, the South Korea president added that "the fact that North Korea and the U.S. agreed to have a summit and working-level talks indicates that the U.S. has already confirmed the North’s intentions.”

And in an indication that the White House is flexible as to the details of the denuclearization process, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier this month that the administration will follow the “President Trump model.” North Korea seized on that in a statement on Friday calling for talks with the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Saturday to “Stay Focused. It’s about the outcome. It’s about keeping Americans and the world safe.”

But the real catalyst was China, whose Foreign Ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday it “firmly” hoped the summit could happen as scheduled and be successful and reiterated a call for both sides to be patient and show goodwill.

“We have always believed that direct contacts and dialogue between the leaders of North Korea and the United States are crucial to resolving the peninsula nuclear issue,” it said.

And the only reason it said it? Because Trump caved on the ZTE sanctions, which in turn prompted China's president Xi to push Kim back to the negotiating table, but is also set to greenlight the NXP-Qualcomm deal which just a few weeks ago was all but dead, and which according to many is the biggest open arb currently on Wall Street.

In other words, it almost appears that a bunch of M&A arb hedge funds are running US foreign policy.

Comments

FireBrander wildbad Sun, 05/27/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

One hell of a chess game between China and the United States using the two Korea's as pawns. 

The USA wants to military destroy NK and China refuses to make that move. 

I fear it won't be long now before NK "gasses thier own people" or "sponsors" a terrorist attack somewhere. 

When you're about to win the game,  the next move should always be the worst possible move that ends up costing you the win.

In reply to by wildbad

solidtare TahoeBilly2012 Sun, 05/27/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

Alexander Mercouris nailed it:

http://theduran.com/donald-trumps-kim-summit-yo-yo/

"It is not after all as if the contours of a possible Korean settlement are difficult to see: a non-aggression pact between the two Koreas, a withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula, and an agreement by North Korea that it give up its weapons in return for formal security guarantees from the Great Powers (in this case this means the two Eurasian Great Powers, Russia and China).

There is no logical reason why any of this should require the agreement of the US, and if the two Koreas were to agree to this the US would not be in a position to prevent it."

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

TheWholeYearInn DarthVader101 Sun, 05/27/2018 - 14:08 Permalink

All this horseshit about North Korea, and all the little Trump sycophants running around like little fags.

 

Meanwhile ~ Everything else continues to disintegrate. (NATO ~ Europe ~ loss of hegemony because Trump himself is a sycophant to Israel), ROW shifting towards Russia, China, Iran.

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-27/russia-and-turkey-reach-deal-…

 

Fucking North Korea is about as important as Stormy Daniels lawyer or Colin Kaepernik's girlfriend... They never were a threat ~~~ EVER. They're run by a piss ant leader that doesn't care about shit but bloviating about himself (like Trump ~ the 2 are a perfect pair), getting a deal cut every 6 years or so to feed the starving, and keeping himself in food & Lambos, and now, hopefully, the new BIFF TANNEN penthouse suite in the new Trump Hotel & casino.

 

All you little Trump pussies think this this is some kind of blueprint... Well ~ IT IS!

 

It's the blueprint to keep the Twittering king of self importance focused on horseshit while he shovels the rest away.

 

Go ahead and down vote the ever loving fuck out of me because I don't care anymore... I started out 'hoping' that Trump could produce something... HE'S PRODUCED SQUAT... and this is still SQUAT (because it's only a distraction and ego stroker ~ they're playing his orange ass like a fiddle)...

 

I'm tired of all of you

In reply to by DarthVader101

TheWholeYearInn Manthong Sun, 05/27/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

I drink one cup of coffee a day before a workout and I cut it with 1/4 tsp of baking soda to increase the pH.

 

I'm just sick of reading these Trump sycophants who get all jizzed up about horseshit because the Orange Clown has not only produced SQUAT so far, he's actually on the wrong path if you can manage to get off his jock for 2 seconds and take a look around.

 

If anyone bothered to actually read the article (which these Trump sycophants don't), the ONLY reason this is back on the table is because Trump 'caved' on the ZTE sanctions.

 

Translation: Chink, NK, and ROW are all laughing their asses off at us now that they know that China can dangle the ['Oh please, let me win a Nobel Prize' carrot in front of Trump's equally carrot orange face].

 

On again, off again, on again, off again, [until Mr. 'Art of the Deal' concedes everything to everyone to keep himself in the news and win a fucking Cracker Jack Box prize ~ & well, if NOBODY in the US goes to jail from the prior administration, well, looky here, a piss ant country gives up it's nukes ~ FFS If I were Mexico, I'd start a nuclear program, or pretend to]...

 

Christ you people are pathetic

In reply to by Manthong

Escrava Isaura solidtare Sun, 05/27/2018 - 10:24 Permalink

History will look back at next month summit is meaningless. Asia has been there for over three thousand years. They will do what they always do, figure out between them.

I just wonder how much business US will gain in North Korea after the summit. How much dollars they will allow into their market.

That’s what really matters for the US.

This summit is just to feed Trump's ego.

 

In reply to by solidtare

tion solidtare Sun, 05/27/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

When the North and the South wanted peace and unity a long ass time ago, the USSA installed a murderous psychopath as South Korea’s leader, who proceeded in haste to slaughter hundreds of thousands of South Koreans. His name was Syngman Rhee.  

South Korea has remained in part a vassal state since, but the people their put a boot up the ass of their occultist wench and replaced her with a son of two ‘North’ Koreans who dreams of bringing his elderly mother to visit her hometown. Mr. Moon is familiar with SK’s authoritarian regime, having himself been arrested for protesting them. If he had been alive to protest in 1950 he would have been unapologetically slaughtered.

 

The North has long sought to replace the armistice with a peace treaty and put an official close to the war. Why hasn’t it happened yet?  If the people of the South hadn’t uncovered and booted their occultist wench, and the spirit cooking bitch of the West had cheated moar to steal the presidency, these talks wouldn’t be possible.  Even still, pretending the deep state doesn’t exist or is weak is foolish.  Pulling the troops out of SK is not something they would easily accept.

I am still really hoping Mr. Moon will give a speech and have his nation take a moment of silence for the victims of Syngman Rhee, and officially lift the silence enforced by the authoritarians for decades. I want to see the hypocrites and projectors turn red in the face, and I want to see the brainwashed progressivist youth stain their shirts with salty tears of shame.

In reply to by solidtare

new game solidtare Sun, 05/27/2018 - 12:46 Permalink

i was thinking along the same lines. this is happening between s and n korea. u.s. will be evicted out of s korea as a condition of the agreement. ussa will have no choices-bye fuking bye and about fuking time, s korea will demand that the yanks go back to yankerville to yank there yanks...

china has this covered and will be the decider, trump thinks he is charge and will soon find out he was the one being cordially invited to understand wtf is going to happen.

euro land next- as this eviction of the mic takes hold, as it is the only answer to ussa mic over reach...

hopefully, nato is dissolved as trump has pissed off some peoples in euro land, plus turkey is not towing the nato line.

more to come. the bully is getting sniped...

In reply to by solidtare

OverTheHedge new game Sun, 05/27/2018 - 14:02 Permalink

North and south make their own agreement, and the US is forced to depart the Korean peninsula.

Does anyone believe that this is what the US military wants? The wellbeing and continued security and happiness of millions of people, Vs the Petrodollar hegemony. 

I will admit to being amused at the idea that the US has no say and no sway at these talks, but I am of the opinion that the US has a need to counter China, and will use that need to stop any reunification or rapprochement. 

Maybe Mosley is right, and Trump will get his Nobel prize, but I am still skeptical.

In reply to by new game

LibertarianMenace new game Mon, 05/28/2018 - 01:38 Permalink

"trump thinks he is charge and will soon find out he was the one being cordially invited to understand wtf is going to happen."

That would seem to be "mission accomplished" albeit by an unorthodox and circuitous route. Trump to MIC: "Sorry boys, I tried, but they want us OUT! - EVERYWHERE!" Suits me just fine.

As you say, once the dam breaks, it can't be plugged.

Kind of ingenious really, to wedge the MIC/NeoScammers between irate "allies" that want to evict, and US voters that want us to be evicted.

In reply to by new game

Lea solidtare Sun, 05/27/2018 - 13:39 Permalink

There is only one thing that requires the agreement of the US: the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea. That is what the US is resisting with all its energy. It is MASSES of money the US MIC stands to lose if the US has to pack up its THAAD, fifteen military bases in South Korea, thousands of contractors, etc. I mean, there are literally thousands of US military people living off the phony Korean divide.

https://militarybases.com/overseas/south-korea/

In reply to by solidtare

TruthHammer solidtare Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:10 Permalink

no logical reason?

 

It's a very straight forward logical reason, albeit one many people dont like.

Russia and China aint shit.

The US dictates the end terms.

 

If the US is willing to militarily destroy North Korea, Russia and China's only "say" in the matter, is whether the whole world ceases to exist as well.  Since neither China nor Russia want to die (and the whole world to die), over North Korea, they bend the knee.

 

Since North Korea IS willing to go out in a blaze of glory, since they would lose/die anyway, they do have that bargaining chip.

 

Therefore the deal is:

North Korea gets normalization, with their Communist China style Dictatorship remaining in power, and all the party top officials getting immensely rich via Western loans and development to bring out of the Third World.

 

US gets a formal peace treaty, a path to full reunification, and the first in history REAL international oversight of a complete denuclearization.

In reply to by solidtare

Jkweb007 TruthHammer Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:52 Permalink

Russia and China combined surpasss our military plus ours is scattered all over the globe. NK will never be Libya and why is because China is next door. Kim is pressing the U.S. and likely give up its nukes but I am sure the U.S. must leave SK. I would bet that was the deal Kim was told to make by China. Kim went to China before any of this started. 

Let see Nk gives up its nukes that have been aimed at SK for years and it can happen if SK makes the U.S. leave. Sk has already joined the silk road stopped buying our treasuries andbuys oil in yuan. My guess it all happens andTrump gets the credit.

In reply to by TruthHammer

swmnguy TahoeBilly2012 Sun, 05/27/2018 - 10:14 Permalink

I'll reserve judgment until something actually happens.  Talk is cheap, and plentiful.

I'm not fan of Trump, but as I've said many times before, just for ridding America of the Clintons and the Bush's , he deserves the god-damn Congressional Medal of Freedom.  And if lasting peace breaks out in Korea, Trump would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize even if all he does is blather and stumblefuck around.  If that's what it takes, fine.

I do suspect that "What It Will Take" for peace on the Korean peninsula will be the removal of US military presence.  Which I also support wholeheartedly.

The "Libya Model" was a stupid thing for Pence and Bolton to say, because it's completely irrelevant.  Gadhafi didn't have a superpower as an ally/neighbor.  The US isn't going to assassinate Kim until the US wants war with China, on Chinese territory.  Meaning, never; unless we've completely lost our minds in which case Kim is the least of our worries.

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012