White House Team to Go to Singapore for Trump-Kim Summit Prep

Don't let's get too excited where Kim and Moon are concerned

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at their meeting in April

U.S. officials crossed into North Korea on Sunday to hold talks on preparations for a possible summit, a U.S. newspaper reported, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.

"The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place", Sanders said in a statement Saturday morning.

"We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date", Trump said in a Twitter post.

However, both President Trump and Kim Jong Un, said they were open to continue the talks, which largely center around the permanent denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

"They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it. We'd like to do it".

"Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in shared the view that the two sides should trust and take care of with each other and exert joint efforts to make sure that the Panmunjom Declaration reflecting the unanimous desire of all Koreans is implemented at an early date", the KCNA said.

Mr Trump had left the door open by saying in a letter to Mr Kim that "wonderful dialogue" had recently taken place and that he was still looking forward to meeting the North Korean leader.

"We simply couldn't get them to pick up the phone", a White House senior official told reporters on Thursday. Photos showed that Kim's sister, Yo-jong, widely believed to be a key player in her brother's inner circle, was also present.

US President Donald Trump has cancelled the planned summit with North Korea and Kim Jong-un
US President Donald Trump

Much ahead of Choe Son-Hui's warning, Kim Kye-Gwan, North Korea's first foreign minister threatened to scrap the summit if the US forces North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons.

He said, "The best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war".

Although the precise agenda was unclear, it was expected that the two leaders would discuss ways of reducing tensions and denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House in Washington, the USA president said: "We gonna see what happens".

Pompeo, however, spoke over the phone Friday with his South Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, about continuing to work closely on the talks with the North and thwarting its nuclear ambitions, the State Department said.

North Korea had threatened to pull out of the unprecedented summit after USA officials advocated a so-called Libya model approach, which involved that African country's total nuclear dismantlement before any concessions were granted.

The first-ever US-North Korea summit was originally set to be held on June 12. Kim wants to make a "grandiose proposal", he said, such as denuclearization in exchange for normalizing relations, but agreeing to that without working out the finer points could have serious ripple effects, including taking away the legal justification for US troops on the peninsula.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006 and numerous tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could, theoretically, reach the US.

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