The summit's back on: Trump meets NKorea at White House

Posted June 02, 2018

Ending weeks of uncertainly, President Donald Trump announced Friday that his historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is back on for June 12 in Singapore.

Speaking after more than an hour of talks with Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that denuclearization - and a formal end to the decades-old Korean war - would be on the table in Singapore.

"The delivery of a letter from Chairman Kim Jong Un to President Trump has apparently broadened and consolidated the road to the North Korea-US summit", said Kim Eui-gyeom, spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House.

"I think it's probably going to be a very successful, ultimately a successful process", Trump told reporters on the White House lawn after meeting with a senior North Korean official in the Oval Office. It has been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

The video was taken at around the time of North Korea initiating talks with China, South Korea and the U.S.in regards to United Nations led sanctions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"The relationships are building and that's very positive", he said. "We did discuss that", Trump said. He also said it was likely that more than one meeting would be necessary.

Kim Yong Chol was spotted leaving his hotel in New York City early Friday for the trip to Washington in a convoy of SUVs. However, his comments were the most positive from any US official since Mr. Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North.

When it comes to paying for lodging at North Korea's preferred 5-star luxury hotel, the United States is open to covering the costs, the two people said, but it's mindful that Pyongyang may view a US payment as insulting.

The North Korean envoy hand-delivered a letter to Trump from the North Korean leader, after a day of talks in NY with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He also added that he had not yet read the letter Kim had been dispatched to deliver, saying "I could be in for a big surprise, folks". Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are lingering doubts about whether he will fully relinquish his nuclear weapons, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival. In this way, the video is an unusual admission of the poor state of North Korea's economy and the helplessness of its leadership. North Korea's conciliatory response to that letter appears to have put the summit back on track. Pompeo was accompanied by Andrew Kim, the head of a Central Intelligence Agency unit assigned to work on North Korea, and Mark Lambert, the head of the State Department's Korea desk.

But Trump said he didn't like that Kim Jong Un had met Thursday in Pyongyang with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Trump had called off the summit late last month, citing North Korea's "tremendous anger and open hostility".

The North Korean envoy, a close confidant of Kim Jong-un, arrived in Washington after two days of talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.

Kim Yong Chol is the most senior North Korean visitor to the United States since Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington in 2000 to meet President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.