Trump says no new North Korea sanctions

Geraldine Edwards
June 2, 2018

President Donald Trump said that meetings with a North Korean delegation in NY have gone "very well" and that he expects the delegation to travel to Washington on Friday to deliver him "a letter from Kim Jong Un".

The last time a North Korean official visited the White House was in 2000, when then-Vice Marshal Jo Yong-rok met President Bill Clinton and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Mr. Trump said he was hopeful that his meeting with Mr. Kim could still take place on June 12 in Singapore, adding that resumed talks have gone very well and that the negotiations "are in good hands". However, his comments were the most positive from any USA official since Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North. "But often times that's not the way deals work".

His comments will stoke fears that the tempestuous relationship between Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could yet spiral into World War 3. "But it'll get done at some point".

Kim is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S. in 18 years.

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Trump had called off the summit last week, citing "open hostility" from North Korea after a top Kim aide had called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and threatened a nuclear showdown.

At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave an upbeat assessment of preparations for the summit and said the United States is "shooting for" a reinstatement of the meeting as scheduled on June 12.

Kim Yong Chol is known to be hard to work with, sarcastic and not sufficiently deferential to his superiors, Leadership Watch said.

Despite saying the two sides made "real progress", Pompeo also cautioned that there might be no quick solution. They can make a strategic shift, one that their country has not been prepared to make before. "It should not be to anyone's surprise that there will be moments along the way, that this won't be straightforward", he said. North Korea has defined security as obtaining the deterrent of nuclear weapons. Trump's main goal in any talks is to eliminate that threat.

The North Korean official is carrying a letter to Trump from Kim Jong Un. The armistice was signed by the US -led United Nations Command, the North and China in July 1953.

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After the North's combative statements, there was debate inside the Trump administration about whether it marked a real turn to belligerence or a feint to see how far Kim Jong-un could push the U.S. in the lead-up to the talks.

The United States, in return for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, could potentially loosen sanctions, leading to possible food and other aid to impoverished North Korea and improved ties with South Korea.

The letter: The Wall Street Journal, quoting a foreign government official, said the letter from Kim Jong Un was "fairly basic".

Since the president "canceled" the summit in a dramatic letter last week, and there's been a flurry of activity between the two countries to officially make it happen.

Gen Kim was accused of masterminding attacks on the South Korean warship Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island in 2010.

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