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North Korea summit cancellation a setback to dealmaker Donald Trump

28 May 2018

A hand-picked delegation of United States officials have crossed into North Korea to hold talks on preparations for a possible summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 27, 2018.

Earlier, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said both countries are holding talks concerning the summit at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Trump tweeted a day after he and Kim separately expressed willingness to meet June 12 in Singapore as originally planned, after the USA leader abruptly canceled the summit on Thursday, citing the North's "open hostility".

Trump, who has since teased that the summit might still happen, tweeted about the diplomatic efforts in North Korea late Sunday afternoon, expressing his optimism that the USA team's arrangements will pan out.

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Trump rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Kim, citing "open hostility" from Pyongyang. "And Kim wants legitimization, of course - meeting President Trump - and also, he needs a counterweight to the Chinese". "Yes, I think it would be important to have the summit".

-North Korea summit in June, government officials said Sunday.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said he's skeptical that Mr. Kim will agree to completely give up his country's nuclear capabilities, saying the leader has an nearly emotional attachment to them and that they make him feel prestigious and powerful. "And I don't know if it's going to be June 12, but I think it's going to happen", she said.

The outcome of these "practical talks" between the US and North Korea will likely determine whether the June 12 meeting takes place, Moon said Sunday. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore.

A USA official said that Sung Kim, the former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, would lead an American delegation to meet North Korean officials at the border.

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Seeking a denuclearisation deal with North Korea was a top priority for a leader who came to the White House on a political promise of putting "America first" while withdrawing from worldwide agreements on climate change and Iran.

"I urge North Korea and the U.S.to confirm each other's will by sharing their problems with each other and communicating directly", Moon added. "That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens". From North Korea's point of view, a US presence in the country might give Pyongyang a "sense of security" against a possible USA attack.

If U.S. and North Korean officials are unable to reach a deal in preparatory talks, a decision could be left to a Trump-Kim summit, according to the U.S. officials.

"The discussions are just getting started, so we are still waiting to see how they come out, but depending on their outcome, the president could join President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore", the official said. Kim expressed hopes to meet for candid dialogue, reported Yonhap, to which Moon agreed.

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North Korea summit cancellation a setback to dealmaker Donald Trump