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The Latest: Ambassador says Russia supports US-NK talks

May 30, 2018
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In this image made from video, Kim Yong Chol, right, a former military intelligence chief who is now Kim Jong Un's top official on inter-Korean relations, walks through Beijing airport after his arrival Tuesday, May 29, 2018. He was at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s side at the table in last weekend’s North-South summit, and had been a prominent senior official in other important talks. It was not possible to confirm the reason for his visit to Beijing, or if he would be traveling on to another destination. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on preparations for a possible summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador says Moscow supports a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but adds, “Every side has to be realistic about it.”

Vassily Nebenzia stressed Tuesday that a meeting between the two leaders is “the start of a long and winding road.”

The White House says it is continuing to “actively prepare” for an “expected summit” between Trump and Kim in Singapore which had been scheduled for June 12.

As for results, Nebenzia told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, “Don’t expect that it happens overnight.”

But he says a Trump-Kim meeting is “a move in the right direction at least.” He says Russia “will support it of course, and especially meaningful agreements to be reached there.”

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7:30 p.m.

Japan’s U.N. ambassador says “maximum pressure” should be maintained on North Korea until it takes concrete actions toward eliminating its weapons of mass destruction.

Koro Bessho told a small group of reporters Tuesday that Japan would like to see “comprehensive, verifiable, irreversible, dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons as well as its chemical and biological weapons.

He says Japan also wants to see Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles dismantled and the abduction of Japanese citizens to North Korea addressed.

Bessho says Japan is “working with the United States very closely.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump at the White House on June 7, ahead of Trump’s expected meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.

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4:10 p.m.

The White House says it is continuing to “actively prepare” for an “expected summit” between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Trump has confirmed that a top North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol, is headed to New York for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In addition, teams of U.S. officials have arrived at the Korean demilitarized zone and in Singapore to prepare for the meeting.

The summit had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, but Trump wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un last week saying he had decided to “terminate” the meeting. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that since the letter, “the North Koreans have been engaging” with the U.S.

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11:20 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump “continues to actively prepare” for the president’s “expected summit” with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) in Singapore.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) at the White House on June 7.

She says Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s vice chairman of the Central Committee, is traveling to New York and will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week.

Sanders says a U.S. delegation is meeting with the North Korean delegation at the DMZ.

Plans for the high-stakes summit have been in flux for days. Last week, Trump withdrew from the meeting, only to announce a day later it could still get back on track.

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6:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump has confirmed that top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol is heading to New York for talks on an upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump tweeted early Tuesday: “We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!”

South Korea’s Yonhap News said Tuesday it saw the name of Kim Yong Chol on the passengers’ list for a flight Tuesday from Beijing to Washington. They later reported that Kim changed his flight to go to New York on Wednesday.

Kim is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party’s central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations.

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