North Korean official Kim Yong Chol leaves for talks with Mike Pompeo

North Korea-US summit on track, says Moon, after candid talks with 'friend' Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un committed to complete denuclearisation, says Moon Jae-in after North-South 'surprise' summit

Originally scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12 between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the President last week canceled the meeting, saying that it would be "inappropriate" for the talks to go ahead.

The United States has struggled to slow the isolated country's weapons programs, which have become a security priority for Washington given Pyongyang's promise to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland. He said Japan will make efforts for worldwide solidarity.

"You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used", wrote the President in his letter. The 30-member team is reportedly led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and special assistant to the president Patrick Clifton.

North Korean watchers here say that North Korea and the USA seem to have reached a broad agreement on the timeline and road map for North Korea's denuclearization - North Korea takes steps to abandon its nuclear weapons program in a short, compressed period of time in return for the USA taking measures to guarantee the Kim Jong-un regime's survival. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY. But on Tuesday, North Korean state media once again brought up the issue of a group of restaurant workers that defected to South Korea in 2016.

"What's more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting", Moon told a meeting with senior secretaries. "Looks like it's going along very well".

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against perceived aggression by the United States, which keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

"Since the president's May 24th letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging", Sanders said.

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Since then, Trump has voiced optimism that the face-to-face could still take place. The North has a diplomatic mission to the United Nations headquarters in NY, a venue for some previous high-profile meetings between the USA and North Korean officials. USA officials familiar with planning said he was scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday.

Abe, one of the most vociferous supporters of Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against the nuclear-armed North, has been concerned that the mercurial US president's decision to meet Kim might result in him making a deal with Pyongyang that leaves out shorter- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japan.

The State Department confirmed early Wednesday morning that Pompeo, who has been critical to Trump's North Korea negotiation efforts even prior to assuming the top diplomatic post, will depart for NY where he is scheduled to meet Kim through Thursday.

Kim, in a dispatch issued by the North's state-run news service earlier Sunday, "expressed his fixed will on the historic (North Korea)-U.S. summit talks".

Trump withdrew from a planned June 12 Singapore summit with Kim last Thursday, but quickly announced it could still happen. 'I think there's a lot of good will, ' he said.

"There are meetings going on as we speak", Trump said.

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