Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump releases 'very nice' letter from Kim Jong Un

Trump releases 'very nice' letter from Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a letter to President Donald Trump praising progress in relations between the two countries and bringing up the possibility of another meeting between the two state heads.

But the letter, which Trump posted in an image with an English translation on Twitter on Thursday, made no reference to denuclearization, which Kim committed to achieve in a joint statement he signed with Trump in their meeting last month in Singapore.

At the Singapore summit on 12 June, Mr Trump and Mr Kim signed a document that included a pledge from North Korea to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Pompeo was in Pyongyang from Friday to Saturday to try to flesh out a bare bones denuclearisation deal made during last month's historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

In a statement released to reporters on Thursday, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said that North Korean military officials were now seeking a meeting with their USA counterparts on July 15.

But North Korea's delegation failed show up to a scheduled meeting on Thursdayat the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas. About 100 wooden transport cases were sent to the DMZ in recent weeks to prepare for receiving USA troop remains.

North Korean officials didn't show up for a planned meeting with USA counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead, South Korean media reported, in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides.

Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress but as soon as he left, the North's foreign ministry berated him over his "unilateral and gangster-like" demands and for offering no constructive steps on the USA side.

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"In effect, Kim Jong Un is saying that the United States - not North Korea - needs to take actions to "further strengthen" the "invariable trust and confidence". He added that "great progress being made!".

One problem - no North Korean officials showed up, The New York Times reported.

But there's growing skepticism in Washington over the Trump administration's engagement with North Korea. A total of 7,697 personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

On Tuesday, North Korean state media published several reports about Kim's visit to a rural area near the Chinese border where he provided "field guidance" to potato farmers.

North Korean officials have failed to turn up for talks with a USA team on the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean war.

Pompeo dismissed the criticism, stating the North Koreans "did not push back" at discussions over the circumstances under which Pyongyang might surrender and dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

The Pentagon says Pyongyang has indicated several times they have as many as 200 sets of remains that could be those of U.S. soldiers who died in the war. It recoiled at what it described as a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization". "We will be ready".

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