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(LEAD) (US-NK summit) N. Korea, U.S. to meet for last-minute summit preparations

All News 10:04 June 11, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with meeting venue, Trump's schedule, other details; ADDS photo)

SINGAPORE, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Senior North Korean and U.S. diplomats will hold talks in Singapore on Monday in a bid to come up with a draft agreement to be presented to the leaders of the two countries, according to officials.

Ambassador Sung Kim, the State Department's top Korea expert, will meet Choe Son-hui, the North's vice foreign minister, at the Ritz Carlton hotel at 10 a.m., according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

It comes the day before a historic summit between the communist nation's leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump.

Choe and Kim already had several rounds of discussions at Panmunjom, along the inter-Korean border, that were reportedly focused on summit agenda items, including denuclearization and security assurance measures.

In this photo released by North Korea's media, leader Kim Jong-un arrives at a Singaporean airport on June, 10, 2018. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The working-level consultations are apparently aimed at making 11th-hour progress ahead of the summit since previous talks failed to narrow their differences over denuclearization methods and timetables.

The North's leader arrived in Singapore on Sunday, his first-known trip outside Northeast Asia since taking power in 2011.

He soon had a meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana palace, during which he expressed gratitude for providing logistical support for the summit.

Kim was also quoted as saying that, "If the summit produces positive outcomes, then the Singaporean government's effort will be recorded in history forever."

On Monday morning, the North's state-controlled media broke their silence on his overseas trip.

The Korean Central News Agency said issues of mutual concern, related to the "changed era," will be on the agenda at the summit, including bilateral relations, peace and denuclearization.

U.S. President Donald Trump heads to the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore after arriving in the country on June 10, 2018, in this photo provided by AFP. (Yonhap)

Trump also flew into Singapore the same day shortly after attending the Group of 7 summit in Canada. He is scheduled to sit down together with the Singaporean prime minister at the Istana later Monday.

Speaking to reporters in Canada, Trump called his talks with Kim a "one-time shot" for the North's young ruler.

"I feel that Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people," he said. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again."

They plan to start the first-ever face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the Korean War foes at Sentosa's Capella Hotel at 9 a.m. Tuesday.


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