Xi to Speak With Abe on Denuclearization: North Korea Update

(Bloomberg) -- As the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un draws near, each side is laying the groundwork for discussions. We follow the developments here. Time stamps are Seoul:

China’s Xi, Japan’s Abe to Talk Friday (17:23 p.m.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are scheduled to hold a telephone conference Friday afternoon to discuss how they should handle North Korea, Nippon TV reported, citing unidentified government officials. Abe is seeking Xi’s agreement on a demand that North Korea take specific actions toward denuclearization, Nippon TV reported.

China Says Foreign Minister Wang Met With Kim (17:23 p.m.)

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Kim during a trip to Pyongyang, the foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday. China will support North Korean efforts to cope with safety issues during the denuclearization process and to shift its strategic focus onto economic development, Wang told Kim, according to the statement.

North Korea Prepares Nuclear Site Closure (10.32 a.m.)

South Korea and U.S. intelligence officials are said to have detected signs that North Korea is preparing to publicize the closure of Punggye-ri nuclear test site, Yonhap News reported, citing an unidentified intelligence source. South Korea has said that Kim planned to invite foreign journalists to witness the event sometime later this month.

Trump Says ‘Stay Tuned’ on U.S. Detainees (9.58 a.m.)

Trump indicated in a tweet that the three U.S. hostages detained in North Korea will be on the agenda at the summit: “As everybody is aware, the past administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!”

Trump Has ‘Got a Chance’ On North Korea: Rice (2.46 a.m.)

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she believes the Trump administration has “set the table pretty well” on North Korea, and “they’ve got a chance" of striking a deal with Kim’s regime. Rice made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Rice said it’s possible Kim may want change in his society, which has been strained under the weight of a U.S.-backed sanctions campaign. She also warned that North Korea has a history of not following through on commitments and advised the administration not to be quick to remove U.S. troops from South Korea.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.