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US Pauses New North Korea Sanctions

US Pauses New North Korea Sanctions”

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.

Trump and Abe confirmed they would meet again to continue coordinating on the summit.

The two countries, as well as South Korea, have since worked to reschedule the meeting, with the White House this weekend sending a team of American officials to Singapore to meet North Koreans and prepare should the summit go forward.

Sanders also revealed in the statement that a USA delegation, headed by US veteran diplomat Sung Kim, was meeting with DPRK officials at the demilitarized zone (DMZ), with more meetings expected later this week. Sung Kim, the former USA ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led the US delegation, an official told Reuters.

"If it happens, we'll certainly be ready", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the Singapore summit.

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The diplomacy in advance of the summit has had highs and lows, including Trump backing away from the meeting, then saying it could still happen in Singapore on June 12, as initially scheduled.

Since then, North Korea has rejected USA demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear program, which experts say could threaten the United States.

"The president and prime minister affirmed the shared imperative of achieving the complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs". But there are lingering doubts on whether Kim will ever fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies.

In October 2000, then-leader Kim Jong Il, the current North Korean leader's father, sent Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok to Washington on a then-unprecedented goodwill mission.

On Sunday Sung Kim, a former USA ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led a delegation to talks on the substance of the summit with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui.

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Kim believes the summit with Trump will be an opportunity to end decades of confrontation, Moon said.

South Korean media also reported that a North Korean delegation arrived in Singapore on Monday night, where other USA officials, led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, are preparing for the summit. The North's arsenal now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching mainland US cities.

Kim Yong Chol is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee.

He sat next to Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is also a White House aide, during the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang which was a turning point in the nuclear crisis. South Korean media speculated that Pompeo could make a third trip to Pyongyang and that Kim Yong Chol was carrying a personal letter from Kim Jong Un and might push to travel to Washington to meet with Trump.

Their second meeting came after inter-Korean relations had chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea canceling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in a two-week military exercise with the United States that ended last week. Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week. South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday there have been no discussions yet between Washington and Seoul on modifying the drills, which usually take place in August.

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