Trump says North Korea talks positive, expects Kim letter

02 June, 2018, 04:29 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Sergei Lavrov

President Donald Trump said Friday his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would go forward on June 12 in Singapore. "We'll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore".

Kim Yong Chol was greeted at the White House by chief of staff John Kelly and then whisked into the Oval Office.

Still, another Cheong Wa Dae official has said Moon's trip depends on the outcome of ongoing discussions between the USA and North Korea.

Ahead of the meeting, top-level U.S. officials had not read the missive from Kim to Trump, but were aware generally of its contents, a person familiar with the matter said. "I said, 'Would I do that when we're talking so nicely?'" The US wants complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and Trump said that Kim is committed to that goal, too.

He even taunted eager reporters with its contents, saying, "Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter".

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

The White House has said preparations for a meeting were going ahead. "Hopefully we will have a meeting on the (June) 12th", he said.

The man Trump met on Friday, Kim Yong Chol, had come to Washington after a day of talks with Pompeo to see whether a summit might be possible. He cited "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang but also urged Kim Jong Un to call him.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

And while Kim Jong-un, during a meeting with Russia's foreign minister in Pyongyang on Thursday, said the North's will for denuclearisation is "unchanged and consistent and fixed", it is still unclear if his vision fits with Washington's strict demands.

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Shortly afterward, however, the U.S. president said that he was still open to the meeting with the North Korean leader. Commenting the meeting on Twitter, Mr Pompeo said: "Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in NY tonight".

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Since Trump's abrupt cancellation last week of the historic meeting with Kim, there's been an global scramble to salvage the event - with rapid-fire diplomacy efforts in the US, on the Korean Peninsula and in Singapore, the Southeast Asian city-state hosting the summit.

Video of the beginning of their meeting also showed Lavrov inviting Kim to Moscow.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling party executive and a veteran regime insider, arrived for his Oval Office encounter accompanied by the senior United States officials who have overseen an extraordinary diplomatic opening.

Kim Yong Chol spent more than an hour in the Oval Office where he was spotted shaking hands with the president.

But he has had two summit meetings in recent weeks with South Korea and made two visits to China as part of a campaign of diplomatic outreach aimed at easing Pyongyang's isolation and USA -led global sanctions. He is North Korea's former military intelligence chief and is one of the North Korean leader's closest aides.

"We will push forward to test the proposition that we can achieve that outcome", he said.

"Normally, I would be skeptical of a trilateral format", Oba told Business Insider.

North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have been a source of tension for decades, has made advances in missile technology in recent years and its nuclear arsenal now threatens the United States.

Trump views a summit as a legacy-defining opportunity to make a nuclear deal.

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