Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

North Korea envoy meets Trump, hands letter form Kim

North Korea envoy meets Trump, hands letter form Kim

Kim Yong-chol, a former spy chief and four-star general, became the first top North Korean official to visit the White House in 18 years.

This is the third sit-down between Pompeo and Kim. He said of the North Koreans, "I believe they will be coming down to Washington on Friday".

During his unusual visit, Kim had dinner for about an hour and a half with Pompeo.

A meeting with Trump would be a huge win for Kim, and insiders say the U.S. and North Korea aren't close to reaching a deal that would make it worth the US's time.

Pompeo touts "real progress" toward Korea summit State Dept releases global cyber recommendations for Trump MORE in NY this week. Immediately afterward, he tweeted that he had had substantive talks on the priorities for the potential summit. The letter, delivered by one of Kim's aides, Kim Yong Chol, was due to be inspected by USA officials and, if cleared, given to Trump, according to administration officials cited in the report.

The president said the US government would not put in place any new sanctions while talks were taking place.

Known as the North Korean leader's right-hand man, Kim Yong-chol is expected to carry a personal letter from Kim amid reports the young leader is committed to denuclearization and a meeting with Trump.

Speaking after the Oval Office meeting, the president said he looks forward to the day when he can "take the sanctions off" North Korea.

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"We are meeting with the Chairman (Kim Jong-un) on June 12 (in Singapore)".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walk, during a meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, May 31, 2018.

The United States previously blacklisted Mr Kim, who once served as a bodyguard to the current leader's father Kim Jong-il, from coming to the United States because of his role in North Korea's military establishment.

The Trump administration has pressed for the North to rapidly takes steps to turn over its nuclear program, while Pyongyang has said it expects a slower, step-by-step process in which the North receives reciprocal benefits, including economic incentives. Pompeo and Chief of Staff John Kelly were also spotted inside the Oval Office for the meeting with President Trump.

In Pyongyang, Kim said his will to see denuclearisation on the peninsula remained "unchanged, consistent and fixed" and hoped improved North Korea-US relations would be solved on a "stage-by-stage" basis.

President Trump's remarks follow months of pressure from China and South Korea on Washington to invest in the economic reconstruction of North Korea, ravaged by almost a century of oppressive communist rule.

Even as the summit preparations continued, Japan on Friday said it had reported to the United Nations a suspected North Korean sanctions violation involving a ship-to-ship cargo transfer.

"But if President Trump insisting that June 12 could still work, then everybody is going to scramble and trying to make it happen", she said.

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