Donald Trump waits on Kim Jong-un letter, talks up possible meeting

Jun 02, 2018, 01:48
Donald Trump waits on Kim Jong-un letter, talks up possible meeting

But, after their morning of discussions, Pompeo tweeted: "Substantive talks with the team from #NorthKorea".

"We've made real progress in the last 72 hours in setting the conditions", Pompeo said at a news conference after meeting with Kim Yong Chol, adding, "There remains a great deal of work to do". It was not immediately clear who accompanied Kim Yong Chol on the North Korean side.

Trump said he'd told North Korea's leaders to "take your time" with the peace process.

Mr. Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, later visited the North Korean capital, but the negotiating effort eventually collapsed.

"They want it. We think it's important-and I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn't have it".

Trump told reporters after the end of the meeting that he had not yet read the letter. "It is very important to them".

"I think it will be very positive".

The president said he expected a number of summits would be needed to settle all outstanding issues. It is all a process.

The ceremonial arrival represents a propaganda coup for a regime that has endured decades of isolation, and raises the possibility that the summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un will go ahead in Singapore on 12 June or soon after.

The US president now says he still hopes to meet Kim in Singapore on June 12 and pressure him to give up his nuclear weapons, although he conceded on Thursday that might require more rounds of direct negotiations.

US President Donald Trump has announced that he is heading to Singapore on June 12 to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But continuing differences led Trump to abruptly cancel the planned summit last week, and then quickly announce it might still be held as scheduled.

There is no sign yet whether Lavrov discussed his pending visit to Pyongyang with Pompeo; the Russian ministry said the two diplomats "exchanged views on several aspects of the joint agenda", citing the Syrian crisis and Ukraine. "As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of USA hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward", Kim told Sergey Lavrov.

"I look forward to the day when I can take the sanctions off of North Korea", Trump said. But there are lingering doubts on whether he will ever fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies.

The North also demands the repatriation of a dozen North Korean restaurant workers, who came to the South in 2016 via China, claiming that they were abducted by the South. Seoul has said they chose to defect of their own free will. We have hundreds [of sanctions] that are ready to go.

The meetings are working toward a planned denuclearisation summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim - an event hailed as a pivotal shift in tensions following North Korean nuclear tests previous year.

The former spy chief's current official position is vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea, but he rose to prominence as Pyongyang's chief military negotiator during inter-Korean talks between 2006-08.

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