N Korean official visits Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit

Getty Image

Getty Image

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet with Vietnamese officials when he arrives in Hanoi.

Addressing Kim as "the chairman of the State Affairs Commission", North Korea's supreme decision-making institution, the message reads: "We have no desire to obtain secret information (on North Korea) from abductees upon their repatriation from North Korea or to oppose normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and North Korea". It said past year that Tanaka may have entered North Korea.

North Korea has halted all nuclear and missile tests since the Singapore summit, and the United States has suspended joint military training exercises with South Korean forces, in what has been dubbed a freeze-for-a-freeze. Although Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have pledged to help, the issue hasn't featured prominently in talks between the U.S. and North Korea.

"We were not on the brink of war with North Korea in 2016", Benjamin J. Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, tweeted.

But there has been little significant progress between Trump and Kim.

Chris Ruddy, the founder of the conservative outlet Newsmax and a confidant of President Donald Trump's, told CNN today that - based on what he's been told by White House sources - he believes Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats could be fired for attacking the administration's stance on North Korea.

Shortly before traveling to South Korea to prepare for the Trump-Kim summit, USA special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun admitted that the two sides do not have "a specific and agreed definition" for the word "denuclearization", making negotiations towards the goal of denuclearization hard. "We're dealing with them, we're talking to them", he said.

The meager results from the Singapore summit appear to have prompted administration officials to opt for a more gradual process this time, involving reciprocal steps carried out over many years.

The propaganda website insisted on Sunday that the return of the remains was enough for the United States to "respond" with actions of their own.

Kim will also meet Vietnamese officials when he arrives in Hanoi, said the sources, who requested anonymity citing the sensitivity and secrecy surrounding the movements of the North Korean leader.

U.S. officials have long viewed an agreement to formally end the Korean War as a tool to reassure Pyongyang that it faces no threat from the United States and could therefore relinquish its nuclear program. "And we won't let that happen", said the US President.

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