Wednesday, 22 January, 2020


Summit With North Korea Is Back On

Bennie Garza | 02 June, 2018, 14:33

President Donald Trump said Friday his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would go forward on June 12 in Singapore.

But after an Oval Office sit-down with Kim Yong Chol Friday, the president said they are "totally over" last week's drama and it would be a "big mistake" to call off denuclearization talks with North Korea.

Right after his meeting on Friday with Mr Kim Yong Chol, President Trump told reporters it was "a very nice letter" and "a very interesting letter", but later said that he had not actually read it.

United States officials now expect the summit to go ahead, but they want Pyongyang to accept that nuclear disarmament be at the heart of the discussion - and warn there can be no end to sanctions without it.

The two countries, eying the first summit between the US and the North after six decades of hostility, have also been holding negotiations in Singapore and the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

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.

When Trump came out, he fielded questions from a gaggle of reporters, including if North Korea's total denuclearization was still on the table. The announcement puts back on track a high-risk summit that could be a legacy-defining moment for the American leader, who has matched his unconventional deal-making style with the mercurial Kim government.

Hurriedly, and slightly anxiously, a phalanx of wiry North Korean security personnel disgorged - one accidently closing the door on his colleague in the rush. I never said it goes in one meeting.

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

He said that the meeting could bring an end to the conflict between North and South Korea.

But Trump also suggested additional summit meetings with Kim could be necessary. Jo presented Clinton with a letter from the North Korean leader inviting him for a meeting in Pyongyang, an invitation Clinton ultimately turned down.

Kim Yong Chol delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to Trump.

The Trump administration has pressed for the North to rapidly takes steps to turn over its nuclear program, while Pyongyang has said it expects a slower, step-by-step process in which the North receives reciprocal benefits, including economic incentives.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with Kim Yong Chol in NY on Thursday, was also visible in the meeting through a window in images captured by television cameras. "We welcome the summits that already took place between Pyongyang and Seoul as well as planned meetings between North Korean and USA leadership". North Korea followed up, however, by sending trusted Kim Jong Un aide Kim Yong Chol, who delivered the letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump.

"We will excitedly, but calmly, look forward to their historic meeting in Singapore", the spokesman added. "It is very important to them".

The photo made rounds on social media, where theories abound why Kim would have sent Trump what seemed as a comically oversized letter. The last time a North Korean envoy visited the White House was back in October 2000, when Bill Clinton hosted the meeting.

Asked whether the answer would come on Friday in the letter, Pompeo said he did not know but added "we have made real progress in the last 72 hours toward setting the conditions".

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