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Attempts to Salvage Summit Found in 3 Corners of World

Kim Yong Chol said to be en route for NYC
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
People watch a TV screen showing images of President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 29,...   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – It'll take a "herculean focus on all kinds of details" to revive President Trump and Kim Jong Un's June 12 summit, reports the New York Times, and a herculean effort seems to be underway. The paper tracks three separate efforts in three corners of the world to salvage the meeting: in New York, Singapore, and the DMZ. Yonhap's sources tell it that Kim Yong Chol departed Beijing on Wednesday aboard an Air China flight en route to New York, where he is set to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the two have met twice prior, during Pompeo's past visits to North Korea. How Reuters frames the purpose of their meeting, per a US official: to evaluate "whether North Korea is prepared to make sufficient commitments toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons."

If that path to denuclearization reveals itself, shoring up security for the summit becomes paramount, and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joe Hagin and counterpart Kim Chang Son have been in Singapore since Monday to establish meeting locations and related details. On Sunday in the DMZ village of Panmunjom, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Choe Son Hui (who made the now-infamous comments about Mike Pence) met, with the Times speculating they were ironing out an agenda. Meanwhile, NBC News casts doubt on the depths of North Korea's intentions on the denuclearization front, citing sources with knowledge of a CIA analysis who say the best the US may be able to hope for is that the North undoes some of its recent progress on nukes. A quirky concession it may be willing to make: bringing a Western hamburger franchise to Pyongyang. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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