Trump-Kim summit: US, North Korean officials meet for working-level talks

 North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui leaving The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel, on June 11, 2018.
North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui leaving The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel, on June 11, 2018.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
North Korean vice-foreign minister Choe Son Hui (right) arriving at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, on June 11, 2018. US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim had arrived shortly before the North Korean delegation.
North Korean vice-foreign minister Choe Son Hui (right) arriving at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, on June 11, 2018. US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim had arrived shortly before the North Korean delegation.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM
Media scrum around the vehicle of US envoy Sung Kim as he departs The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore after talks with North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui on June 11, 2018.
Media scrum around the vehicle of US envoy Sung Kim as he departs The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore after talks with North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui on June 11, 2018.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The working-level meeting is believed to be led by US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (above) and North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.
The working-level meeting is believed to be led by US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (above) and North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.PHOTO: TWITTER/SECPOMPEO

SINGAPORE -  Officials from the United States and North Korea met at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel on Monday (June 11) morning,  one day ahead of a historic summit between the leaders of both countries.

Monday's working-level meeting is believed to be led by US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim - the State Department's top Korean expert - and North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, both of whom were spotted at the Marina Bay hotel before 10am.

 

Both parties spent over two hours at the venue before leaving to a media scrum.

The crowd of foreign and local journalists, who waited at the entrance of the hotel during their stay, rushed up to them as soon as they were spotted, hoping to catch a glimpse of Ms Choe - who left first with her entourage - and Mr Sung Kim. Neither of them spoke to the media.

Their meeting comes as US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to hold a summit at Capella Singapore hotel in Sentosa on Tuesday.

The Trump-Kim summit is aimed at ending the threat of nuclear conflict and easing the mutual hostility that dates back to the 1950-53 Korean War.

An earlier report by Reuters said the latest talks on Monday are aimed at making 11th-hour progress ahead of the Trump-Kim summit, as Mr Sung Kim's earlier talks did little to narrow a gap on the definition of denuclearisation, or win agreement on tangible commitments from Pyongyang towards dismantling its nuclear arsenal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on Monday that the US remained “committed to the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

His post on @SecPompeo also showed a photo of him meeting his State Department team, including Mr Sung Kim, on Monday morning.

He later tweeted that both parties had "substantive and detailed meetings". 

The US and North Korea held at least five rounds of talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom to prepare for the historic Trump-Kim summit, Yonhap reported.

Meanwhile, all was quiet on Monday morning at The St Regis Singapore hotel, where the North Korean delegation is staying.