Victor Cha, who was President George W. Bush's top advisor on North Korea and was briefly expected to get Trump's nod as ambassador to South Korea, said Sunday he was now confident the summit will take place.
In recent weeks, China and the United States have been vying for the attention of Kim Jong Un, with Trump accusing China of contributing to a toughened North Korean stance on denuclearisation after the North Korean and Chinese leaders met this month.
The White House says it is continuing to "actively prepare" for an "expected summit" between Trump and Kim in Singapore which had been scheduled for June 12.
Trump cited hostile comments from North Korea as the reason he withdrew from the potentially historic summit. He's a longtime Korean intelligence official with past involvement in many violent acts, and now he's heading to the U.S.
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U.S. negotiators, headed by Washington's current ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, met North Korean counterparts in the truce village of Panmunjom that divides the two Koreas on Sunday. There has yet to be an official announcement about whether the summit is on.
"If the report that Kim Yong Chol is on his way to Washington is true, we now know that the main discussion of the agenda and any possible deal will take place there, not in Panmunjom".
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed in their surprise meeting to sitting down with President Donald Trump and to a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".
"We're still finalising exactly what these meetings will look like", she said.
Asian shares mostly gained on signs the United States and North Korea were still working towards holding a summit. It said the Americans met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.
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Trump on Thursday scrapped the summit after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament.
Trump said in a tweet that Kim Yong Chol was traveling to NY as part of ongoing meetings between the two countries to revive a summit on the future of North Korea's nuclear weapons.
"Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-US summit", Moon said of his latest summit with the North Korean leader held on Saturday.
Kim Yong Chol's official title is a vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party. But moving beyond several footsteps into the North at Panmunjom would be rare for USA officials. An extraordinary flurry of diplomacy since then - much of it led by South Korea - appears to have put the meeting back on track. He also represented the United States at the six-party talks, the failed diplomatic effort in which China, Russia, Japan, the US and South Korea negotiated with North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
HORSLEY: There are two different USA teams on the ground in Asia - one focused on the logistics of the meeting, the other on the substance of the talks. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that since the letter, "the North Koreans have been engaging" with the U.S. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Trump's decision left him "perplexed" and was "very regrettable".
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Preparations for the summit is in full swing, White House confirmed. It was a repeat of the opening ceremony, where Pence did not greet Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.