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President Donald Trump told Reuters that North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol will likely visit him at the White House after Kim finishes meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City. Trump canceled the summit, then said it may still take place, shortly before Kim and Moon met again and agreed to resume high-level talks between their countries.
"Many conversations have been had about how we might proceed", Mr. Pompeo said, "what the path might be forward so that we can achieve both the denuclearization that the world demands of North Korea and the security assurances that would be required for them to allow us to achieve that".
Despite having a border with North Korea and relatively cordial relations that President Vladimir Putin has seemed to want to develop further, Russian Federation has kept a surprisingly low profile as Kim has emerged onto the world stage this year, meeting twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
"It's absolutely obvious that when a conversation starts about solving the nuclear problem and other problems of the Korean Peninsula, we proceed from the fact that the decision can't be complete while sanctions are still in place", he said.
After the meeting, Pompeo tweeted: "Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in NY tonight". "Steak, corn, and cheese on the menu". They met at the residence of the USA deputy representative to the United Nations, an apartment with a spectacular view of the East River. Another round of talks is due on Thursday.
A menu signed by Pompeo and Kim.
Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim Jong Un and vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, is the most senior North Korean official to meet top U.S. officials for talks in the United States in almost two decades. The summit never came about.
Kim has rejected previous U.S. calls for North Korea's unilateral nuclear disarmament and argued instead for a "phased" approach to denuclearisation of the entire Korean peninsula. The talks had been expected to be held in two sessions, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon, and had not been expected to conclude until 1:30 p.m.
"I think it's probably going to be a very successful, ultimately a successful process", Trump told reporters on the White House lawn after meeting with a senior North Korean official in the Oval Office.
He said he wanted to see denuclearisation occur at a rapid pace. Because he has been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department twice, he was given a sanctions waiver to make this trip, The Guardian reported. But they have to denuclearize.
North Korea is estimated to have more than a dozen nuclear weapons.
That episode is tentatively set for June 12 in Singapore.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "real progress" had been made in NY talks with Kim's right-hand man, while in Pyongyang the Korean leader re-committed to "denuclearisation". It's customary when you send a letter like that, that a letter comes in return.
"We welcome the contacts that have been developing in the recent months between North and South Korea, between North Korea and the United States", Lavrov said in comments to the media.
But since then, planning discussions have resumed, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's high-level meetings this week in NY with the North Korean official.
A State Department-branded table setting at the dinner.
Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong Chol in NY is going on at the same time as talks are underway in two other locales.
The summit was previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, but President Trump cancelled it last week.
"Our secretary of state is having very good meetings".
A meeting with Trump would be a huge win for Kim, and insiders say the United States and North Korea aren't close to reaching a deal that would make it worth the US's time.
Neither Kim nor Pompeo acknowledged questions from reporters as they met in a senior USA diplomat's apartment in the Corinthian, a luxury high-rise condo with a dramatic view over United Nations headquarters and mid-town Manhattan. He was greeted by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Andrew Kim, a CIA official in charge of the agency's Korea Mission Center.
"North Korea remains our most imminent threat", Navy Admiral Harry Harris, the outgoing U.S. Pacific Command commander, said in Hawaii Wednesday.
A year ago the world appeared on the brink of nuclear war between Washington and Pyongyang, but Kim has changed tack amid a toughening of sanctions against Pyongyang. The two sides engaged in a second round of talks on Wednesday. It's unclear what the two discussed specifically, but there have been some indications the two sides may be far apart on the issue of denuclearization. He also complained of "US hegemonism".
It was also not clear what North Korea's leader wrote in his letter to Trump, although it was seen as raising hopes that the summit meeting might be back on. "And their talks will continue".