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US President Donald Trump says he “thinks” the North Korean negotiators whom his team dealt with in earlier talks are still alive.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with Kim Jong Un, Trump said at least one — he didn’t name him — was verified to be living.

“I think they are. I can tell you the main person is,” Trump said. “I would hope the rest are too.”

South Korea’s largest newspaper said earlier this month that a North Korean diplomat involved in the US talks had been executed by firing squad. But CNN later confirmed he is alive and in state custody, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

Another official reported to be purged, Kim Yong Chol, was later photographed at an art performance with Kim Jong Un.

North Korea chief negotiator Kim Yong Chol (circled) appears at an art event, after reports of a purge.
North Korea chief negotiator Kim Yong Chol (circled) appears at an art event, after reports of a purge. Rodong Sinmun

Trump said Sunday the two sides had agreed to restart working-level talks. The US side will be led by Stephen Biegun, who was already responsible for negotiations with North Korea.

It’s unclear whether North Korea’s team will also remain the same.