White House: U.S. "continues to actively prepare" for summit
May 30 2018
Trump soon after being sworn in as president took a firm stand in dealing with Kim, implementing the toughest sanctions ever imposed by the USA against North Korea, while ridiculing Kim as the "rocket man".
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that June 12 in Singapore "is what we're planning for, but we'll see what happens".
President Trump confirmed Chol's destination, tweeting "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea".
New U.S. intelligence has concluded that North Korea has not intention of giving up its nuclear weapons, according to an NBC News report, but the rogue regime has offered to build a "Western hamburger franchise" in its capital city.
"Solid response to my letter, thank you!" tweeted Trump.
Jong Chol, 72, is an ex-army general and military intelligence boss who is believed to have launched two deadly 2010 attacks that killed 50 North Koreans, as well as the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures that saw a slew of embarrassing showbiz revelations about top stars including Angelina Jolie.
If such an approach was adopted, it would mean North Korea is not totally denuclearized until years after President Donald Trump is out of the White House, even if he's elected for a second term.
North and South Korea affirmed their commitment to the goal of denuclearisation of the peninsula at a summit last month, and Pyongyang announced at the weekend it will destroy its only known nuclear test site next week.
The conference had been scheduled for June 12 in the island nation, but Trump announced last week that he had chose to "terminate" the meeting following a provocative statement from the North and its decision to skip planning talks and ignore preparatory phone calls.
A summit between Trump and Kim is closer to being back on again.
Trump is tentatively set to meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12, though there's been a significant amount of back and forth over whether the summit will actually occur. She was referring to talks over the weekend between US and North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas and a White House logistics team's discussions with North Korean counterparts in Singapore.
The preparations now seem to be in full swing.
An intelligence assessment compiled by the CIA and described to NBC News by three U.S. officials concludes that the Kim Jong-un regime is not prepared to let go of its nuclear arsenal, a finding at sharp odds with some of Trump's recent claims.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Kim is set to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he arrives in NY.
A senior White House official, too, told reporters at a White House-arranged briefing last week that it would be hard to hold the summit on June 12.
The CIA report came as a top nuclear expert argued in a new paper that the nuclear disarmament process in North Korea could take as a long as 15 years. It did not say whether Choe is accompanying Kim Yong Chol.
South Korean media earlier reported that Kim Yong-chol's name was on the passenger list for a fight Wednesday from Beijing to NY. "As the rapprochement with the United States has picked up pace, Kim Yong-chol appears to have taken on a broader remit to deal with the Trump administration".