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Trump-Kim Summit won’t be an easy ride

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The United States and North Korea will have to do “some hard work” in the lead-up to the upcoming US-North Korea leaders’ summit, the top US envoy for North Korea said after holding talks in Pyongyang.

Stephen Biegun held three days of talks in the North Korean capital and agreed to meet his counterpart Kim Hyok Chol again ahead of the summit, the State Department said on Friday.

Speaking before meeting with the South Korean Foreign Minister kang Kyung-wha on Saturday, Biegun said his talks in Pyongyang had been productive, but more dialogue was needed ahead of the summit.

“We have some hard work to do with the DPRK between now and then,” Biegun said in Seoul.

“I am confident that if both sides stay committed, we can make real progress.”

During the talks, Biegun and Kim Hyok Chol “discussed advancing President Trump and Chairperson Kim’s Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearisation, transforming US-DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the State Department said, referring to North Korea by the acronym for its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

US President Donald Trump hailed the preparatory talks as “very productive”.

“My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un. It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Friday.

“I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!” he said.

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