North Korea: Trump says summit with Kim is back on

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The summit was first canceled by Trump on May 24 after North Korea's foreign secretary branded US Vice President Mike Pence 'stupid'.

In Seoul, US negotiators on Friday expressed optimism after meeting their North Korean counterparts for preparatory talks at Panmunjom, on the fortified border between the two Koreas.

"We talked about it".

The Trump administration needed to issue a waiver for Gen. Kim to travel to NY, after the Obama administration in 2010 placed sanctions on him in his role as head of North Korea's premier intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

The current rapprochement on the peninsula was triggered by the games, to which the North sent athletes, cheerleaders, and his sister as an envoy.

North Korean officials said Kim Yong Chol was expected to return to Pyongyang shortly.

Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief, Anna Fifield, pondered if this was a play on Trump's past claim that he has a "much bigger" nuclear button than Kim.

"The conditions are putting President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un in a place where we think there could be real progress made by the two of them meeting", he said.

And he acknowledges that if diplomacy with North Korea works, then troop levels and similar issues can come up, but only in discussions between the US and South Korea.

"I think they want to do that".

"And hopefully we'll have a meeting on the 12th", he added. He referred to it as a "very nice" letter, though. We have hundreds [of sanctions] that are ready to go.

Pompeo said the talks are moving in the right direction. It's going to be a process, but the relationships are building...

Eight days after canceling the unprecedented summit, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility", Trump welcomed North Korea's former intelligence chief, now under punitive USA sanctions, to the White House Oval Office, afterward exchanging smiles and handshakes, patting his arm in a friendly gesture. "He has deliberately sabotaged the talks over the last two weeks & was setting us up to take the blame".

As a result, American officials planning the summit are trying to work around sanctions that prohibit the US from picking up the bill, or may ask Singapore to pay for Kim's hospitality at the Fullerton, a neoclassical hotel along the Singapore River, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post on Friday.

An advance team, led by deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, has held meetings with the North Korean team in Singapore this week.

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