US team enters North Korea to prepare for summit — report
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US team enters North Korea to prepare for summit — report

Former US envoy to South Korea leads small delegation to meet Pyongyang official, as parallel team plans logistics in Singapore

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim seen answering questions at a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, October 26, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim seen answering questions at a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, October 26, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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.

The Washington Post reported that the group was being led by Sung King, the US ambassador to the Philippines, who formerly served as US envoy to South Korea and as a nuclear negotiator with the North.

Also in the group were Allison Hooker, the National Security Council’s expert on Korea, and an unnamed Defense Department official.

Sung King crossed the border between South and North Korea to meet with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, the report said.

Another US team went to Singapore, where the meeting is planned to take place, over the weekend to focus on logistics.

The report said meetings with Sum’s group would continue through Tuesday at Unification House, in the northern part of the demilitarized zone.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in (R) hugs North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un after their second summit at the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on May 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Dong-A Ilbo)

That was where the North Korean leader met his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, on Saturday for surprise talks aimed at getting the historic summit between Kim and Trump back on track, after a head-spinning series of twists and turns.

Moon Jae-in said Sunday that Kim had committed himself during those talks to sitting down with Trump and to a “complete de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” although he did not define what that meant.

At the White House, Trump, who on Thursday canceled the talks, planned for June 12, said Sunday that negotiations for a summit with Kim were “going along very well.”

“There are meetings going on as we speak,” Trump said. “I think there’s a lot of good will.”

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