Executive Intelligence Review


President Trump Optimistic on Summit with North Korea

May 29, 2018 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump tweeted this morning,

“We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Yong Chol, the Vice-Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!”

South Korean media reported that Kim Yong Chol was on the passenger list for a flight today from Beijing to New York. A former military intelligence chief, now a Vice-Chairman of the D.P.R.K. Central Committee, he is the highest-level North Korean official to travel to the United States since 2000. Kim’s U.S. interlocutor has not yet been announced.

The U.S.-led United Nations Command cancelled a press tour of Panmunjom scheduled for May 30, and all other media events there are cancelled until after June 12 because of security preparations for Korean diplomacy.

American and South Korean officials have not confirmed details of the pre-summit negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang at the border. While some hard-line proposals are being mooted, Kim Jong-un has in two summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May, called for a phased and synchronized process, in which every action he takes is met with a reciprocal move from the United States.

Seoul has been advocating an approach in which the North’s comprehensive commitment and credible actions toward denuclearization are followed by a phased but compressed process of inspection and verifiable dismantling. AP reports that before he cancelled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach with responses from the U.S. along the way.

President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on May 29, “The United States continues to actively prepare for President Trump’s expected summit with leader Kim in Singapore.” Sanders outlined other steps, reported by today’s Washington Times:

President Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on June 7 at the White House; Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of North Korea’s ruling Central Committee, is traveling to New York and will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week; A U.S. delegation is meeting with a North Korean delegation in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea; White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin and a U.S. pre-advance team are in Singapore, coordinating the logistics of the expected summit; National Security Advisor John Bolton has had calls with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts virtually every day.