“I can tell you the president has been receiving daily briefings on North Korea from his national security team,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said.
“And I can also tell you the schedule, tentatively, for that first meeting will be on June 12 at 9 a.m. Singapore time.”
According to Sanders, US-North Korea negotiations taking place on the inter-Korean border continue and the discussions have been “very positive, and significant progress has been made.”
The US and North Korea began simultaneous negotiations on the North’s side of Panmunjeom and in Singapore late last month. In the talks on the inter-Korean border, the US is represented by a team led by Sung Kim, current US ambassador to the Philippines and former nuclear negotiator.
|White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders briefs the media on Monday. (Yonhap)|
The Panmunjeom talks are said to be focused on the agenda of the US-North Korea summit, while that in Singapore concern logistics and security details. The Singapore talks are being spearheaded by White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin.
Seoul’s presidential office, meanwhile, is monitoring developments between Pyongyang and Washington, making preparations for possible steps following the Trump-Kim meeting.
Measures Seoul has in mind include signing a three-way peace treaty among the Koreas and the US, officially ending the Korean War. With the war having ended with an armistice agreement, Pyongyang is technically still at war with Seoul and the US.
According to reports citing an unnamed South Korean official, President Moon Jae-in is working on including a nonaggression clause in the possible peace treaty.
Cheong Wa Dae played down related reports, saying that a nonaggression agreement will come after a declaration of an end to the war.
“Declaring an end to the war and nonaggression agreement are not the same, and if (a nonaggression agreement) is sought, it should be discussed after a declaration of the end of the war,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
Kim also said that Seoul is working closely with Beijing on matters regarding the possible peace treaty among the Koreas and the US.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)