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North Korea Crisis

White House prepared for June 12 summit with North Korea

Planning intensifies at Panmunjom, Singapore and New York

NEW YORK -- The planning for a June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un intensified on Tuesday with diplomats making preparations in three locations: the Panmunjom truce village, Singapore and now New York.

"The president thinks ongoing discussions are going very well," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters traveling with Trump on Air Force One to Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, Reuters reported. "The meetings taking place over this week ... certainly are signs of progress," Sanders said, signaling that the U.S. side is prepared for the summit to be held on the original date.

"We're going to be prepared if it takes place on June 12. We'll certainly be prepared if it for some reason takes place at a later date -- we'll be prepared for that as well," she said.

A top aide to Kim, Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, headed to New York to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is reportedly planning to travel to New York on Wednesday and return to Washington on Thursday.

At the Panmunjom truce village in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, teams from the U.S. and North Korea conducted working-level talks. Sung Kim, a former American ambassador to South Korea and the current American ambassador to the Philippines, met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.

Meanwhile, White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin is in Singapore, the venue of the planned summit, with a pre-advance team to coordinate logistics.

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