Trump awaits Kim letter as summit talks make progress

Trump awaits Kim letter as summit talks make progress

Trump's announcement comes after top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol visited the White House Friday to deliver the letter.

A top aide to Kim Jong Un will make a rare visit to Washington Friday to hand a letter from the North Korean leader to President Donald Trump.

After arriving at the White House on Friday afternoon, the North Korean official was seen being ushered into the West Wing by the president's chief of staff, John Kelly.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "real progress" had been made in NY talks with Kim's right-hand man, while in Pyongyang the Korean leader re-committed to "denuclearisation".

It is not immediately known what was written on the sealed letter.

"Through these series of meetings, I'm confident we're moving in the right direction".

However, Trump said it may take more than one meeting with Kim Jong Un to get a deal through.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too early to know whether there would be a Putin-Kim meeting in Russian Federation.

Asked whether North Korea has made a commitment to de-nuclearise, Trump said, "They want to do that".

Trump told reporters he hadn't read the letter yet and added with a smile, "I may be in for a big surprise, folks".

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He arrived in the US capital from NY, where he held talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday and Thursday.

A senior US State Department official briefed reporters separately as Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol met late on Wednesday.

"The relationships are building and that's very positive", he said.

Trump also stressed the importance of this summit.

Yet he also said at his news conference that hard work remains including hurdles that may appear to be insurmountable as negotiations progress on the USA demand for North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. He also expressed Moscow's support for an agreement Kim reached with Moon at a summit last month that focused on measures to ease hostilities and increase exchanges between the two Koreas.

Who is Kim Yong-chol, the North Korean official representing Kim Jong-un?

The United States, in return for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, could potentially loosen sanctions, leading to possible food and other aid to impoverished North Korea and improved ties with South Korea.

Trump is expected to receive the letter from a senior North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol, who is traveling to Washington.

Sergei Lavrov was welcomed with open arms by Kim as he flew into the hermit kingdom in an apparent bid to curry favour ahead of the crucial summit between North Korea and the U.S. in Singapore next month.

The North Korean mission at the United Nations did not respond to an email seeking comment Thursday, and phone calls were not answered.

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