North Korean envoy to deliver letter from Kim Jong-un to Donald Trump

Jun 01, 2018, 03:28 IST | PTI

"We're doing very well with North Korea. Our Secretary of State has had very good meetings. He's meeting again on Thursday. I believe they'll be coming down to Washington on Friday," Trump said

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol, who is in New York to hold talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would deliver a special letter from his leader Kim Jong Un to President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.

"We're doing very well with North Korea. Our Secretary of State has had very good meetings. He's meeting again on Thursday. I believe they'll be coming down to Washington on Friday," Trump said.

"And a letter is going to be delivered to me from Kim Jong Un. So I look forward to seeing what's in the letter. But it's very important to them. So, they'll be, probably, coming down to Washington, DC on Friday for the delivery of a letter. I look forward to that,¿ Trump said, adding he does not know the content of the letter.

Running against time, the US and North Korean officials are having three separate meetings in New York, Singapore and at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.

Trump described the meetings as very positive. "We'll see what happens. It's a process. It's all a process. We'll see. And hopefully we'll have a meeting on June 12th. That's going along very well, but I want it to be meaningful. It doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting; maybe you have to have a second or a third. And maybe we'll have none," he said.

"But it's in good hands, that I can tell you," Trump said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is holding talks with the North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol. A US advance team, led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, is also having meetings with a North Korean team in Singapore. At the DMZ, the US delegation, led by Ambassador Sung Kim, is having meetings with North Korean officials.

"Good progress today during our meetings with Kim Yong Chol and his team. North Korea and the world would benefit greatly from the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," Pompeo said in a tweet from New York. "Substantive talks with the team from North Korea. We discussed our priorities for the potential summit between our leaders," he said in another tweet.

A senior state department official said the Trump administration is looking for "CVID", complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation. "In order for a summit to be successful, the North Koreans have to do things that they have not done before," said the official, who requested anonymity.

"I think the President has made clear and Secretary Pompeo has made clear, the North Koreans have defined what they want as security, and they have determined some years ago that security could be found with nuclear weapons," the official said.

"What we have to convince them is that, on the contrary, their nuclear programme has made them less secure, that there's a better path forward, that we can work with them. We're willing to work with them to provide them with the security guarantees they feel they need, and in fact, we're willing to go beyond that to help them have greater economic prosperity. But they have to denuclearise," said the official.

As of now, it is being planned as a one-day summit, but there are options to extend it further. "The president made clear that he's willing to stay on beyond (one day). I think we are looking for something historic. I think we're looking for something that has never done before. Be it for whatever reason the North Koreans say they're not ready to do something like that... We will ramp up the pressure on them and we'll be ready for the day that hopefully they are," the official said in response to a question.

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