Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

North Korea nuclear talks: United States envoy Biegun prepares for Trump-Kim summit

North Korea nuclear talks: United States envoy Biegun prepares for Trump-Kim summit

At a news conference on Thursday, the State Department's deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino thanked Vietnam for its generosity in hosting the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim agreed to meet again in advance of President Trump and Chairman Kim's second summit", it added. Moon's office said Wednesday that Seoul hopes Trump and Kim will make "concrete and substantial progress" in their talks in Vietnam, but few other details were released.

He said Washington was willing to discuss "many actions" to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and that Trump was ready to end the 1950-53 Korean War. Some experts say North Korea is trying to use the negotiations to weaken the sanctions and buy time to ideal its weapons program.

There has been no announcement yet of the host city, although it has reportedly been narrowed down to Hanoi or Da Nang.

"It may be hard to hold (direct) summit talks (with Trump) due to tight schedules, but through a phone conversation, we will closely coordinate our policies over the issues of nuclear weapons, missiles and abductions, the latter of which is the most important for Japan", Abe told an upper house committee, referring to past abductions of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang.

It is not yet known whether Biegun met with Kim, with North Korean media silent on his visit.

President Trump has been eager for a 2nd Summit despite a lack of significant moves by NKorea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

A year of mostly fruitless diplomacy has led to serious doubts about Mr. Kim's sincerity and Trump's ability to force North Korea to significantly reduce the threat its nuclear weapons pose to the region and world. "He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him and fully understand how capable he is", he wrote in his post.

The US wants North Korea to make a full declaration of all its nuclear weapons facilities and commit to destroying them, under worldwide supervision - something North Korea has never said it will do.

The Singapore summit yielded a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, where USA troops have been stationed since the Korean War. He and Biegun have stressed the economic benefits to North Korea if it does so.

The choice of Vietnam as the venue for a second U.S.

FILE - In this February 3, 2019, file photo, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea.

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