President Donald Trump asked his battery of officials posted in North Korea to plan a summit with its leader Kim Jong Un, dropping hints that the much-anticipated meeting between the two could take place as scheduled.
Last week, Trump withdrew from the planned June 12 Singapore summit with Kim but a day later announced that it could get back on track.
The North Korean side too had welcomed the change of stand by Trump and said they were ready to meet anytime and anywhere. Kim had an unscheduled meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in wherein they discussed ways to revive the summit.
“Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself,” Trump said in a tweet.
“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!” Trump said in the same tweet.
While the US did not announce the delegation’s members, The Washington Post reported earlier Sunday that Sung Kim, a former US ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, had been called in from his posting as envoy to the Philippines to lead the preparations.
Sung Kim met with North Korea’s Vice-Foreign minister Choe Son Hui, who said last week that Pyongyang was “reconsidering” the talks, the daily said.
The talks are expected to continue tomorrow at Tongilgak, or “Unification House,” the building in the northern part of the demilitarised zone where Kim met Moon on Saturday, The Post reported.
Last year, Trump and Kim were threatening war after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear bomb to date and launched test missiles it said were capable of reaching the United States.
Tensions were calmed after Kim extended an olive branch to Seoul by offering to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, sparking a sudden detente that led to Trump agreeing to hold direct talks with the North Korean leader.
(With inputs from PTI)