Summit hangs on Kim letter after nuclear talks make progress

Summit hangs on Kim letter after nuclear talks make progress

Trump received a top-level visitor from North Korea on Friday who came bearing a letter from the country's dictator Kim Jong Un as the two sides work toward a meeting between the two world leaders.

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 "denuclearization".

The breakthrough announced after a almost 2-hour meeting at the White House between Trump and Kim Yong-Chol, one of North Korea's most senior officials, the highest-level talks between the 2 countries in 18 years. The status of his sanctions was not immediately clear.

Trump says his meeting with the most senior North Korean to visit the White House in 18 years lasted longer than expected. As Pompeo and Kim Yong-Chol are meeting in the United States, other American officials are meeting in Singapore with representatives from the North Korean government.

The president even shunned, for the moment, using the term "maximum pressure campaign", a favorite phrase of his in describing the economic and potential military consequences to Pyongyang if it refuses to negotiate. Kim Jong-un says he is committed to "denuclearisation" in some form but his precise demands are unclear.

U.S. officials now expect the summit to go ahead, but they want North Korea to accept that nuclear disarmament be at the heart of the discussion - and warn that there can be no end to trade sanctions without it. Another round of talks was scheduled for Thursday, with Pompeo expected to leave NY that afternoon.

Mr Trump at first said the letter was "very interesting" but later said he had not yet opened it.

Pope begins purge in Chile
He later apologised to victims, following criticism from Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a Vatican pointman on clerical sex abuse. The pope irked victims by saying during a recent trip to Chile that there was not a "shred of proof" against Barros.

Trump said the lengthy conversation Friday "went very well" and called it "a get to know you kind of a situation".

American delegations are also meeting with North Koreans at Panmunjom and in Singapore as part of efforts to plan the summit, which may take place June 12 in Singapore.

But analysts say North Korea will be unwilling to cede its nuclear deterrent unless it is given security guarantees that the USA will not try to topple the regime.

What was in the "very nice" letter? It began with Trump meeting with celebrity famous person Kim Kardashian in the White House to talk about prison reform.

The two Koreas agreed to hold more meetings throughout this month to carry out the agreements reached between their leaders at the April summit, according to a joint statement released following Friday's talks.

Trump, the official said, "can make a fly or no-fly decision anytime he wants", referring to the possible Singapore summit.

"I look forward to the day when I can take the sanctions off of North Korea", Trump said. Steak, corn, and cheese on the menu."US officials have been tight-lipped about the talks, but one senior figure said: "They are meeting to see what needs to be done in the two weeks that remain".

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