Trump Receives Letter from Kim Jong Un

Saul Bowman
June 2, 2018

President Donald Trump said he will meet Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore, after he sat down with a senior adviser to the North Korean leader in the White House to continue the groundwork for the historic meeting.

USA officials said the North Korea delegation would come to Washington to meet Trump and deliver the message on Friday, one week after Trump had abruptly called off preparations for the planned Jun 12 summit in a sharply-worded letter of his own.

"That doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting, maybe you have to have a second or third and maybe we'll have none, but it's in good hands, that I can tell you", Trump said.

The announcement came after Trump met for more than 1 1/2 hours in the Oval Office with Kim Yong Chol, the vice-chairman of North Korea's Central Committee, who delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong Un.

After meeting with Kim Yong Chol on Thursday morning in New York, Pompeo said the two sides made "real progress" but declined to discuss specifics.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following an increase in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and for the global legitimacy a summit with Trump would provide.

Pompeo spoke to reporters at a news conference in NY after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said late on Thursday that the details of Friday's meeting between Kim Yong-chol and Trump in Washington were still being worked out. The North Koreans complained about administration officials talking up the so-called "Libyan model", a scenario that ended with the death of that country's leader.

The meeting follows two landmark summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in the last five weeks.

Despite having a border with North Korea and relatively cordial relations that President Vladimir Putin has seemed to want to develop further, Russian Federation has kept a surprisingly low profile as Kim has emerged onto the world stage this year, meeting twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


FILE - South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, May 27, 2018.

But Mr. Trump still wants to meet face to face with Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month.

Nevertheless, the U.S. president had warm words for Pyongyang, saying the long discussions had touched on North Korea's denuclearisation and economic development. The two planned a "day full of meetings" Thursday, the White House said.

Even as he pulled out, though, Trump urged Kim to "call me or write" if he wanted to revive the meeting.

Kim Yong Chol was previously chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a top North Korean military intelligence agency, and has spent almost 30 years as a senior member of the intelligence community.

It is still not clear whether North Korea's vision of "denuclearisation" in exchange for security guarantees and sanctions relief can be brought into line with Washington's demand for a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end to its nuclear programme.

In their talks, Lavrov relayed President Vladimir Putin's "warmest regards and best wishes" for Kim's "big endeavours" on the Korean Peninsula.

"But we are not going to sign anything on June 12". The last official of his stature to visit the United States was Jo Myong Rok, the late first vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, who visited Washington in 2000, South Korea's Unification Ministry said. Relations turned sour again after George W Bush took office in early 2001 with a tough policy on the North.

The White House has said preparations for a meeting were going ahead.

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