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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded the talks with North Korean general Kim Yong Chol with a toast of Islay Scotch and a lavish dinner of steak, corn and cheese confirming the saying that the way to man's heart is through his stomach.

Even the perpetually optimistic President Moon concedes that the USA and North Korea might have different ideas about what "denuclearization" means, particularly Washington's ideas about how the process should be irreversible and verifiable. As Kim and Pompeo were meeting in NY, other US teams were meeting with North Korean officials in Singapore and in the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone.

On Wednesday, Kim Yong Chol, Kim's infamous right-hand man and a vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party, met with Pompeo after he arrived at JFK International Airport in NY.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gets into a auto after meeting with Kim Yong-chol on Wednesday. "That is how you do these things".

Officials from both sides have been scrambling to make the summit happen, with separate teams dispatched to the inter-Korean border and Singapore to discuss the substance of any denuclearization agreement and logistical issues, respectively.

North Korean sources previously told RFA's Korean Service that citizens have been largely unmoved by, if not mistrustful of, state propaganda heralding Kim's diplomatic achievements in the nuclear-armed, sanctions-hit state.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the delegation in NY, and the president said he is hopeful they will travel to Washington DC on Friday. "The secretary of state is from the heartland and likes American food, and he's hosting someone who's never been to our country", the official said.

Pyongyang decided on the destruction of the Punggye-ri site, as well as a policy shift to economic development, at the party meeting presided over by its leader Kim Jong-un on April 20. Kim's group met a North Korean delegation, headed by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui for three hours on Sunday in Panmunjom.

Washington wants North Korea to give up all its nukes in a verifiable way as quickly as possible in return for sanctions and economic relief.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim Jong Un is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the worldwide legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

Asked whether the Kim-Trump summit will still be held on June 12 in Singapore, Nauert said, "That is what we're planning for", and, like the White House, affirmed that Washington will "certainly be prepared" even if for some reason it "takes place at a later date". "We're looking at June 12 in Singapore".

"Do come to Russian Federation, we will be very glad to see you", Lavrov reportedly told Kim Jong Un.

"Since the president's May 24 letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging", Sanders said.

Dr Hecker noted that the decontamination and decommissioning of a single plant that handles radioactive materials could take a decade or more.

China, North Korea's main trading partner and a key ally, said it supported and encouraged the "emerging good faith" between the United States and North Korea.

Russian Federation has appeared to be on the fringes of a flurry of global diplomacy as North Korea and the United States have taken steps to set up talks aimed at ending years of tension over Pyongyang's nuclear program.