Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Russian Federation gifts North Korea's Kim Jong-un a ‘box for secrets’

Russian Federation gifts North Korea's Kim Jong-un a ‘box for secrets’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with key Kim Jong Un aide Kim Yong Chol on Wednesday evening to resume talks over the proposed summit that were stalled last week when President Trump abruptly pulled out of the meeting.

Trump spoke to reporters after his White House meeting with North Korea's former spy chief and top official Kim Yong Chol.

Trump emerged after a more than hour-long Oval Office meeting with Kim Yong Chol - a general facing United States sanctions who is Kim's right-hand man - saying that the summit will go ahead in Singapore as originally planned.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has expressed hope for holding three-way talks to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, possibly in Singapore following the North Korea-US summit.

In long, meandering comments Friday afternoon, Trump said that he received a "very nice letter" from Kim Jong Un.

"I'd like to see it done in one meeting", Trump said in an interview on Air Force One.

"Frankly, I said, 'Take your time, '" Trump said. Maybe you have to have a second or a third.

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The U.S. insists that North Korea must give up all its nuclear weapons before it can shed its pariah status or get any relief from a crushing sanctions regime. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong-un.

Trump had called it off last week in response to threatening rhetoric from the DPRK.

The White House said talks of the "total denuclearization of the peninsula" do not extend to USA weapons systems - a defense umbrella covering South Korea that includes nuclear-armed submarines and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear bombs not based on the peninsula.

The United States previously blacklisted Mr Kim, who once served as a bodyguard to the current leader's father Kim Jong-il, from coming to the United States because of his role in North Korea's military establishment. Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are lingering doubts about whether he will fully relinquish his nuclear weapons, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival. "He has deliberately sabotaged the talks over the last two weeks & was setting us up to take the blame".

Mr. Trump also revealed that he told North Korean vice chairman Kim Yong-chol that the US will hold off on imposing more economic sanctions against Pyongyang while they are working towards a denuclearization agreement.

Trump was meeting in the Oval Office with Kim's envoy, Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief and now the country's top nuclear negotiator.

"We had hundreds of new sanctions ready to go on", Mr. Trump said. Associated Press writers Christopher Bodeen in Beijing, Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller in Washington and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed.

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