US-North Korea: Trump says summit with Kim is back on

Source: BBC

Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June is back on, the US president says, a week after it was scrapped.

Mr Trump made the announcement after talks with a senior North Korean envoy at the White House.

He also said that North Korea “wanted to do denuclearisation”, although the North did not confirm this.

The envoy, Gen Kim Yong-chol, hand-delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to President Trump.

Mr Trump said it was “a very interesting letter and at some point it may be appropriate” to share it. He later said he had not yet read it.

He also said the issue of human rights was not discussed.

“We’ll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore. It went very well,” President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.

“We’ve got to know their people very well,” he added.

The historic meeting between Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un would be the first between sitting US and North Korean leaders.

16 May: North Korea says it may pull out of the summit, accusing the US of reckless statements and sinister intentions

24 May: Donald Trump cancels the summit, blaming “tremendous anger and open hostility” from the North

26 May: Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in meet for surprise talksat the demilitarised border between the two countries

1 June: Senior North Korean envoy Gen Kim Yong-chol delivers a letter from Mr Kim in person at the White House. Mr Trump says the summit on 12 June is back on. 

Gen Kim Yong-chol’s visit to Washington came a day after he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York.

Mr Pompeo described their talks about denuclearisation “substantive”.

“President Trump and I believe Chairman Kim is the kind of leader who can make those kinds of decisions. And that in the coming weeks and months, we will have the opportunity to test whether or not this is the case,” he said.

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.

The opening of a letter from North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, which was hand-delivered by his top aide, Kim Yong-chol, to the president, is vintage Trump.

The letter itself is an old-fashioned gesture. But it captures the drama of a reality TV show and, in this case, reflects a high-stakes diplomatic one.

President Trump has spoken of the possibility of winning a Nobel Peace Prize for his negotiations with the North Koreans, and the delivery of the letter moves him closer to the summit and the talks.

Regardless of what happens with the letter or the summit, though, he’s captured the world’s attention again today – not to mention high ratings.

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