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

06 June 2018

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he plans to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, North Korean state media reported on Sunday, potentially the first meeting between Kim and another head of state in Pyongyang.

Kim's top adviser and former North Korean spy chief, Kim Yong Chol, delivered the letter himself after a rare diplomatic visit to the United States to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.

Trump said he expects the North Korean delegation to travel to Washington on Friday to deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un, according to a pool report.

The ongoing negotiations give USA officials the opportunity to rebalance any future summit agenda to include not only the security threat that North Korea poses to the United States and our allies in Southeast Asia, but also the regime's human rights record.

It may also be that the strong sanctions being applied against North Korea (to which, for a change, China and Russian Federation seem to at least be paying lip service) is beginning to negatively affect North Korea. "The goal has been to get to a point where North Korea, at a minimum, would allow in weapons inspectors to actually see what kind of arsenal they actually have".

"We talked about nearly everything".

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"We will push forward to test the proposition that we can achieve that outcome", he said. Kim Yong Chol had been personally sanctioned by the United States over his role in the North's nuclear weapons program and is thought to have masterminded an attack that sank a South Korean naval vessel in 2010, killing 46 sailors.

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs, told Cho at the start of the meeting that the rivals should work on building "trust and consideration for each other" to carry out the agreements of the recent inter-Korean summits.

USA and North Korean envoys have also been meeting in Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea, and an American team is in Singapore to make logistical arrangements for the meeting.

"We've got to know their people very well", he added.

The President went on to confirm that the summit would take place in Singapore on June 12. Pompeo had travelled to Washington to meet with General Chol and have discussions on the preparations of the nuclear summit that has been scheduled for June 12.

Meanwhile, North and South Korean officials are working to increase communication between the two countries and improve their relations.

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Mr Kim's letter reportedly expresses his interest in meeting without making any significant concessions or threats in regards to denuclearisation, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a foreign government official who was briefed on the contents.

Trump has refused to publicly acknowledge whether he's spoken directly with Kim Jong Un ahead of the talks.

1 June: Senior North Korean envoy Gen Kim Yong-chol delivers a letter from Mr Kim in person at the White House. Pompeo spoke to reporters at a news conference in NY after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.

US defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental USA with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other USA officials have said they would not tolerate.

The two countries began military co-operation when North Korea sent around 530 troops including pilots, tank drivers and missile personnel to Syria during the Arab-Israeli war in October 1973.

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