Trump confirms North Korea summit will happen June 12 in Singapore

Trump confirms North Korea summit will happen June 12 in Singapore

Trump confirms North Korea summit will happen June 12 in Singapore

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.

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol would be visiting the White House today to deliver a letter from his leader Kin Jong-un to President Donald Trump, a presidential spokesperson said yesterday.

But it is the meeting in Singapore on 12 June with President Trump that is the most high-profile and which has the most at stake, with the United States demanding the full denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the North seeking to ease crippling sanctions.

He added there may even need to be a second or third summit meeting to reach a deal on North Korean denuclearization but still hedged, saying "maybe we'll have none".

Trump indicated that the campaign of "maximum pressure" was at least on hold, vowing no new sanctions while talks are ongoing. He also said it was likely that more than one meeting would be necessary.

"We talked about nearly everything. And we talked about sanctions", he said.

Trump issued a letter to Kim on May 24 nixing initial plans for the summit over what the president deemed offensive comments by North Korea over demands for denuclearization.

He told the agency that a letter delivered by Kim's sister to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in February was contained a large blue folder emblazoned with a golden seal, and speculated that the envelope to Trump could contain a similar folder.

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"They are meeting to see what needs to be done in the two weeks that remain", a senior United States official said.

Eight days after cancelling the summit, Trump met Kim Yong-chol, the right-hand man of the North Korean leader, and held discussions for one and a half hours before announcing that the summit would go ahead on its original date.

"We're not going to go in and sign something on June 12, and we never were".

South Korea's Unification Ministry said the Korean senior officials during the morning session of their meeting exchanged views on setting up a liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and arranging a joint event to commemorate the "June 15 Declaration" for peace adopted after the first inter-Korean summit in 2000.

Both countries have faced worldwide isolation - North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme and Syria over its civil war. Based on the talks, Trump said the North Korean leader was committed to denuclearisation.

Despite the upbeat messaging in the United States, Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about the US trying to spread its influence in the region, a comment that may complicate the summit plans. Other officials from these two nations are also holding meetings in the heavily fortified demilitarized zone in the 38th Parallel.

Shortly after 1 p.m., a black sport utility vehicle entered the White House grounds and pulled up to the South Portico, where Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief who is leading the North Korea side in pre-summit talks, stepped out.

Kim Yong Chol left his hotel in New York City early Friday for the trip to Washington in a convoy of SUVs.

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