North Korea nuclear talks: USA envoy Biegun prepares for Trump-Kim summit

Japan seeks close cooperation with U.S. ahead of 2nd Trump-Kim summit

Trump announces meeting with Kim Jong Un to be held in Vietnam

The US State Department announced Friday that the special US envoy for North Korea will meet again with Pyongyang officials before a second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un - hours after he returned to Seoul from talks in the North on the summit's agenda.

But negotiations between the two nations have shown little sign of moving forward against the backdrop of the Trump administration's skepticism about North Korea's intention to give up nuclear weapons.

On his return to South Korea, Mr Biegun briefed the country's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Satellite video taken since the June summit has indicated North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear materials at its weapons factories.

In Pyongyang, Biegun and Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea's special representative for U.S. affairs, discussed "advancing Trump and Kim's Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming U.S. -DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula", the State Department said in a statement.

Pyongyang has yet to take concrete steps in that direction, observers have said, and nuclear talks had been effectively deadlocked in the months after the Singapore summit.

"There is no change in our position that Japan will continue to cooperate with the United States and South Korea, while closely collaborating with the worldwide community, including China and Russian Federation, to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions" imposed on the North for its nuclear and missile programs, the top government spokesman said.

The 2 leaders first met in Singapore previous year after Kim agreed to discontinue the reclusive state's nuclear missile programs.

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The two sides are struggling to narrow their differences about the wording of a final communique the two leaders will announce.

Some in South Korea hope that Kim will be ready to make meaningful concessions in Vietnam that Trump could then respond to by partially easing the sanctions on the North to allow more inter-Korean cooperation.

The confidential report, a copy of which was seen by news agencies, also said North Korea was routinely breaking global sanctions.

"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse", he wrote.

The Yomiuri ShimbunWill the United States and North Korea be able to bridge differences in their respective standpoints over the North's denuclearization this time around?

Meanwhile, the United Nations has warned that North Korea is continuing its nuclear programme and breaking sanctions. He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is.

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said late last month that Vietnam was confident of its readiness to host the second Kim-Trump meeting.

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