U.S., North Korea conclude second round of Panmunjom talks

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  May 30, 2018 at 9:20 AM
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May 30 (UPI) -- The United States and North Korea concluded a second round of talks at Panmunjom on Wednesday as the two sides also met in Singapore to discuss the potential summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

On the Korean Peninsula, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, a veteran North Korea negotiator, met with deputy foreign minister Choe Sun Hui to "coordinate" on the differing definitions of denuclearization and regime security ahead of possible talks between Trump and Kim, local paper Korea Times reported Wednesday.

The second round of talks lasted for about four-and-a-half hours, according to the report.

The discussions also covered the issue of North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Pyongyang has claimed its ICBMs are capable of reaching the United States.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the Korean Workers' Party, is en route to New York after boarding a flight in Beijing on Wednesday. He had postponed his travels by a day.

In New York, Kim Yong Chol is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The working-level talks between Pompeo and Kim are of the highest level, and the two sides are expected to haggle over the "complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement," or CVID that the United States seeks, versus the "complete, verifiable, irreversible guarantee" or CVIG of security North Korea seeks for its central leadership, according to South Korean paper Korea Economic Daily.

On Wednesday, the North Korean delegation in Singapore, headed by Kim Chang Son, a senior official at the State Affairs Commission, made contact with Joe Hagin, the deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House.

News 1 reported Kim and his delegation are staying at Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Denuclearization is the central issue of bilateral talks, but analysts are divided over how long the process would take for North Korea.

Physicist David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security said denuclearization could take place in two years, challenging a claim from scientist Siegfried Hecker the process could take as much as 15 years, Voice of America reported.

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