North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his willingness to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and hold a summit with US President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday. But we still don't know - do we? - whether the North Koreans have truly signed on to something that the United States would consider acceptable and would be willing to lift sanctions on North Korea, for example. One can cross the border simply by stepping across a painted line.
Their talks will be aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later cancelled by Trump, can be restored, USA officials have said. And Trump has been tweeting positive messages about what he calls their very productive talks, suggesting the summit could happen as initially conceived in Singapore June 12.
Photos released by South Korea's presidential office showed Moon arriving at the North Korean side of the Panmunjom truce village and shaking hands with Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, before sitting down with Kim for their summit.
In his letter to Kim, Trump objected specifically to a statement from senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son-hui. In the wake of the unexpected inter-Korean talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said the original plan hasn't changed.
The Washington Post reported that the United States delegation to the Panmunjom meeting - in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea - was led by Sung Kim, a former USA ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North.
On a separate but complementary track was the CIA team Pompeo set up a year ago when he headed the spy agency.
"(Former U.S. President) Ronald Reagan once said, 'Trust but verify, '" Michael Raska, assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The 30-member team is reportedly led by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and special assistant to the president Patrick Clifton.
The Korean leaders' second summit in a month saw bear hugs and broad smiles.
Howard has been accompanied by Dennis Alan, a Trump lookalike and the two have appeared together at major events and major cities in the US and South Korea besides Hong Kong to make the most of the current times when Kim and Trump are two of the most discussed characters in world politics.
The Koreas' talks, which Mr Moon said Mr Kim requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back-and-forth.
INSKEEP: Ryan Crocker, former US diplomat, was on the program elsewhere in the program today and says at one point, these are two unpredictable regimes.
According to reports, Howard and Alan have also claimed credit for preparing the foundation for the much awaited summit between Trump and Kim.
Only Syrian army should have presence in south, say Russian Federation and Israel
Israel has warned it will not tolerate a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria. It stressed that the Syrian army was determined to retake all parts of Syria.
On Friday, Trump said his meeting with Kim could still take place as scheduled after the North's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said his country has the "intent to sit with the USA side to solve problems".
Trump cited hostile comments from North Korea as the reason he withdrew from the potentially historic summit.
President Trump took to his Twitter account to appreciate North Korea in terms of its present economic position.
Trump accused Kim of showing "open hostility" toward Washington, adding USA nuclear weapons are far superior to North Korea's - and "so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) will meet in NY this week General Kim Yong-chol amid intensifying US-North Korean summit preparations, the White House says. Sung Kim, the former United States ambassador to South Korea and current ambassador to the Philippines, led the U.S. delegation, an official said.
They agreed to have their top officials meet again June 1 and to set up separate talks between their top generals. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that since the letter, "the North Koreans have been engaging" with the U.S.
A vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim Yong Chol has been deeply involved in North Korean diplomacy this year.
Kim Yong Chol's numerous titles and positions in North Korea make him one of the country's most powerful individuals. The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington.
But South Korea, which has lobbied hard for the talks between Trump and Kim, has insisted that Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way if offered credible security and economic guarantees.
Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what denuclearization means and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.
Before he canceled the summit, Trump did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North.