Kim Yong Chol, who was previously blacklisted by the U.S. because of his role in his country's military establishment, is expected to hand deliver a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Trump.
President Donald Trump said Thursday he expects a letter from Kim Jong Un confirming plans for their historic nuclear summit, as their top envoys thrashed out details at NY talks.
USA officials said the North Korea delegation would come to Washington to meet Trump and deliver the message on Friday, one week after Trump had abruptly called off preparations for the planned June 12 summit in a sharply-worded letter of his own. Trump read the letter he delivered from his leader after talking to reporters on the South Lawn, but the White House did not disclose what Kim Jong Un wrote.
Washington has said that North Korea's denuclearisation should be a complete and nearly immediate process, while Pyongyang has appeared to put safeguards for the regime's survival as a pre-condition to a process of gradual dismantling, accompanied by a measured lifting of the sanctions.
Japan's defense minister has urged the global community to keep sanctions and surveillance on North Korea, saying it has a history of reneging on agreements.
It is still far from clear that North Korea's vision of "denuclearisation" in exchange for security guarantees and sanctions relief will prove compatible with Washington's demand for a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end to its nuclear program.
Pyongyang's envoy joined Pompeo at the apartment of a U.S. diplomat on Manhattan's East side for talks over an evening meal that lasted about an hour and a half.
"I look forward to the day I can take the sanctions off North Korea", Trump said. "Kim Jong Un", KCNA cited Assad as saying during a meeting with North Korean Ambassador Mun Jong Nam.
North Korea then issued an unusually conciliatory response to Trump's letter, with senior diplomat Kim Kye Gwan saying in a statement that Pyongyang had "highly appreciated" Trump's willingness to hold a summit, calling it a "bold decision, which any other US presidents dared not". Each side, she said, will "try to add some steps to get advantage".
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. And he was ostensibly there mainly to deliver a letter to the president from Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, North and South Korean officials are working to increase communication between the two countries and improve their relations. And he's come to believe the North Koreans really are serious about surrendering their nuclear weapons.
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. Pompeo had travelled to Washington to meet with General Chol and have discussions on the preparations of the nuclear summit that has been scheduled for June 12.
Trump has refused to publicly acknowledge whether he's spoken directly with Kim Jong Un ahead of the talks. I don't say and I've never said it happens in one meeting.
Kim Yong Chol left his hotel in New York City early Friday for the trip to Washington in a convoy of SUVs. The fearless North Korean soldier, Oh Chong Song, who was shot by North Korean border guards as he defected across the Joint Security Area last November, was found to be severely malnourished when he was being treated in the hospital in South Korea.