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


But with the February 27-28 summit in Vietnam looming large, North Korea did not hold a military parade this year.

President Trump is looking forward to this month's summit with Kim Jong Un, saying Friday that he sees the potential of an "Economic Powerhouse" in North Korea.

The U.S. special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun met with Kim Hyok Chol, Pyongyang's former envoy to Spain, earlier this week in Pyongyang to discuss arrangements for the summit.

Experts say Kim is determined to win relief from US-led sanctions to help revive his country's troubled economy, while Trump, faced with domestic problems such as the Russian investigation, needs foreign policy achievements.

"The South Korean government will, as it has been doing, closely communicate and cooperate with both North Korea and the US, and do its best for the success of the US-North Korea summit and the establishment of a lasting and durable peace on the Korean Peninsula", the minister said.

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

A wave of optimism greeted the diplomatic developments of 2018, which included three summits between Kim and Moon as well as the first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, but South Koreans may have become much more skeptical in recent months.

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Before travelling to Pyongyang on Wednesday, Mr Biegun said he wanted to achieve some "concrete deliverables".

Some experts say North Korea is trying to use the negotiations to weaken the sanctions and buy time to flawless its weapons program.

He said Washington was willing to discuss "many actions" to improve ties and entice Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and that Trump was ready to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

But the North has argued that it should be rewarded for steps taken so far, including the demolition of its nuclear testing site and the dismantling of some missile testing facilities.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News.

The president predicted North Korea could become an "Economic Powerhouse", one that becomes "a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!" "He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him and fully understand how capable he is", he wrote in his post.