Kim Jong-un sends a letter to President Trump

North Korean official arrives in New York for talks with Pompeo

Last month North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow as Pyongyang moves to improve strained ties with global powers. "As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of U.S. hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward", Kim told Sergey Lavrov.

President Trump has wanted the meeting to pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Kim says he is committed to "denuclearization" in some form, but he is expected to demand security guarantees - one of which could be an formal end to the conflict with the US and South Korea. He delivered a personal letter to President Trump from Kim Jong Un at the White House.

China does not welcome USA presence in its neighbourhood, with speculation that it had suggested to Mr Kim to ask for troop withdrawal at the negotiating table with the US.

The Trump administration needed to issue a waiver for Gen. Kim to travel to NY, after the Obama administration in 2010 placed sanctions on him in his role as head of North Korea's premier intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

He says, "The process will begin on June 12 in Singapore".

"The eyes and hope of the world are on these talks", Mr Mattis said.

After the meetings, Mr Pompeo told a media conference on Friday morning (AEST) it would be "tragic to let this opportunity go to waste" with North Korea. "I said, 'Would you want me to open it?' He said, 'You can read it later.' I may be in for a big surprise".

"The relationships are building and that's very positive", he said. "That's something that could come out ... of the meeting" on June 12, he said.

As expected, Kim Yong Chol handed Trump a letter from Kim that may clear up some of the questions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a bit more polished in his statement Thursday after his meeting with Kim Yong Chol.

Before meeting with Trump, Kim, who is now a target of USA sanctions, spent Wednesday and Thursday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.

Pompeo was in the room as Trump and Kim Yong Chol met.

Russia's top diplomat arrived in Pyongyang earlier Thursday, ahead of a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

"President Trump and I believe Chairman Kim is the kind of leader who can make those kinds of decisions".

The two Koreas also agreed to discuss humanitarian issues, including the "reunion of separated families and relatives" on June 22 at the North's Mount Geumgang resort.

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