North Korean Vice Chairman to hand deliver letter to Trump at white house
North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol is in route to Washington to hand deliver letter from the North Korean leader to President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after reporting “good progress” in talks between the two sides to revive an on-again, off-again nuclear summit.
“I am confident we are moving in the right direction,” Pompeo told reporters at a news conference in New York after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol. “Our two countries face a pivotal moment in our relationship, and it would be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste.”
The proposed summit offers a historic opening for @POTUS and Chairman Kim to boldly lead U.S. and #DPRK into a new era of peace, prosperity, and security. Our countries face a pivotal moment in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste. pic.twitter.com/DDkTqnlI2n
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 31, 2018
Pompeo spoke after meeting with Kim Yong Chol for a little more than two hours at the residence of the deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 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. Instead, the two men wrapped up at 11:25 a.m.
Pompeo said they finished everything they needed to address in the morning session. Immediately afterward, he tweeted that he had had substantive talks on the priorities for the potential summit. Pompeo was accompanied by Andrew Kim, the head of a CIA unit assigned to work on North Korea, and Mark Lambert, the head of the State Department’s Korea desk.
“Our secretary of state is having very good meetings,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before departing on a trip to Texas. He said of the North Koreans, “I believe they will be coming down to Washington on Friday. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong Un. It is very important to them.”
“It is all a process,” he said of arranging the summit. “Hopefully we will have a meeting on the 12th.”
For now the Vice Chairman will deliver letter to Trump from Kim Jong Un. The first time North Korean official has visited White House The Vice Chairman’s visit marks the highest ranking North Korean official to the White House in 18 years.