DPRK, US officials hold talks on Kim-Trump summit at Panmunjom

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An American delegation reportedly entered North Korea on Sunday to prepare for a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself", Trump tweeted Sunday night.

Coming after a surprise meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the move was the latest sign that the on-again, off-again Trump-Kim summit may yet go ahead as planned.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in could also be going to Singapore next month for a three-way summit with his USA and North Korean counterparts next month, a government official in Seoul said on Monday.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin leads the USA delegation, while Kim Chang-son, a senior official at the State Affairs Commission, represents the North. The American delegation there is led by Mr Sung Kim, a veteran of previous nuclear negotiations with North Korea and now the USA ambassador to the Philippines.

Moon said he told Kim that Trump has a "firm resolve" to end hostile relations with North Korea and initiate economic cooperation if Kim implements "complete denuclearization". And in the meantime, he's really, I think, strengthened the hand of both Kim Jong Un and the Chinese, while making our allies even more nervous than they already are.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tapped veteran American diplomat Sung Kim, the US ambassador to the Philippines, to handle the main pre-summit negotiations in the DMZ border village of Panmunjom.

A North Korean statement issued in response to the news saw DPRK first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan say his country remained prepared to hold face-to-face talks "at any time and in any way".

The two officials know each other well - both were part of their respective delegations that negotiated the 2005 denuclearization agreement through the six-party framework.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programmes 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.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin began by asking Ford why Trump got "outplayed" by North Korea.

"We're pretty far along now, and so, on balance, I'm modestly in favor of this going forward, and on balance, I'm modestly thinking it's more rather than less likely that it will happen", said Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency during the Bush administration, on ABC's "This Week" yesterday.

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Mr Moon said yesterday there could be more impromptu talks between the two Koreas in the lead-up to the summit.

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

A former USA director of national intelligence, James Clapper, also on CBS, expressed concern Pyongyang may demand the removal or scaling back of American troops in South Korea in exchange for denuclearization.

But Mr. Moon also made clear that any steps to dial back Mr. Kim's nuclear capabilities could come with strings attached.

Washington says it wants to see the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, in return for sanctions and economic relief.

Today's price action suggests investors are betting on a meeting between the USA and North Korean leaders.

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