When the two sides met for the last time, the North Koreans never came to fruition and Trump threw off the summit. Helpers are cautiously optimistic this time around, although they continue to express private concerns over the compressed timeline to arrange the meeting.
The results of this week's parallel talks are likely to dictate whether the June 1
Higher-level talks could also take place before the summit, the official said, including further talks between Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials, possibly including Kim.
A diplomatic victory?
Top Trump consultants, including national security adviser John Bolton, have told the president that even a cursory meeting with Kim would lead to a diplomatic victory and further substantive talks in the future.
"Our United States The team has arrived in North Korea to prepare for the summit between Kim Jong Un and me," Trump tweeted on Sunday night. "I am firmly convinced that North Korea has great potential and will one day be a great economic and financial nation, Kim Jong Un agrees, it will happen!"
On Monday morning, Trump discussed the summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who encouraged pressure to be maintained on North Korea until agreements on his nuclear and missile programs can be reached. Abe advised Trump on his Mar-a-Lago estate last month; The two men were ready to meet again before the potential summit on 12 June.
On Sunday, the current US Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, led a team to the north side of the "Unification House" along the DMZ for talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The aim of the preparatory sessions is to draft a communiqué that the two leaders should approve at their historic meeting, the US official said.
It was unclear by this time whether Kim was prepared to accept a timetable for discontinuing his nuclear weapons program and what did he demand for the United States in return. Earlier talks between US and North Korean government officials, including two meetings between Kim and Pompeo, have failed to clarify the issue of denuclearization.
But as the clock ticks toward June 12, Trump's aides describe a new sense of urgency for progress that would allow the two leaders to meet on time. Analysts said pressure from above makes a meeting more likely.
"When high-level executives basically say they are moving forward, and that's their message to their working groups, I think there's a good chance," said John Park, director of the Korea Working Group at the Kennedy School in Harvard, who added the most plausible outcome of the talks, would be an agreed plan for North Korea to tackle its nuclear program.
"It will really be the unveiling of a prepared joint statement, and I think that's the official start of this denuclearization mechanism," said Park.
Details remain questionable
However, the details of such a plan remain in question. US officials said the most likely document would provide a framework for future negotiations without going into details about what North Korea might give up or what steps the United States would take in return.
Instead, these details would have hammered out at work level in the coming months and years. A similar, meticulous process led to the nuclear deal with Iran that Trump mocked last month.
"I think it's basically going to be a meeting and greetings and smiles and shaking hands, and any leader can congratulate, but that's not all bad," said Max Baucus, a former Democratic senator from Montana, of From 2014 to 2017, he also served as US Ambassador to China "It is good that the two meet, and I hope that this will be the basis for a more realistic, more direct attitude." Later, there were specific discussions. " In Singapore, a large advance team led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin arrived late Monday to begin the logistical preparations for a summit. The teams had already seen the hotel's ballrooms and other possible locations for the meeting when Trump canceled this last week.
According to US officials who are familiar with the discussions, Kim's security needs in Singapore, including number, are the main problems of bodyguards he is allowed to bring to the meeting with Trump. In addition, the composition of the delegations of both sides and the degree of access of the press to the summit are discussed.
This information should have been prepared two weeks ago when Hagin traveled to Singapore to discuss the details of the talks, but the North Korean delegation never arrived.