N Korea's Kim Jong-un sends letter to Trump

Highest-level official North Korean visit to US in 18 years offers hope for summit

Kim Yong Chol is the highest-level North Korean official to visit the USA in 18 years.

The official said that broadly, the "goal is denuclearization". He and Pompeo had discussions over dinner of steak, corn and cheese on Wednesday (Thursday NZT), Pompeo said in a tweet. The pair met for dinner in NY, ahead of a full day of meetings on Thursday.

Kim Yong Chol, left, Vice Chairman of North Korea, during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, centre, Wednesday in NY.

The North Korean official meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to salvage nuclear talks is a former spy chief linked to some of his country's highest-profile military operations in recent years, including a 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures that caused the company widespread embarrassment and millions in damage.

Pompeo said it may take "days and weeks" for Pyongyang to agree to the U.S. demand of complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation, commonly referred to now as "CVID".

Kim's letter, to be delivered by Kim Yong Chol, an infamous and sanctioned North Korean official, could have served as an inflection point in the decision-making process. The president even said he's contemplating two or three meetings with Kim Jong Un if everything goes well and there is more progress to be made. He is North Korea's former military intelligence chief and is one of the North Korean leader's closest aides.

Washington is looking for signs that Kim is ready to accept that talks must lead to him giving up his nuclear arsenal and if the letter is well received it will mark an extraordinary diplomatic turn-around. I believe they will be coming down to Washington on Friday (Saturday NZT).

President Donald Trump at the White House on May 16.

The meeting is remarkable as it is the Trump administration's first taste of the Kim regime unfiltered by mediators like South Korea.

Kim Jong Un's right-hand man met Friday with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office - talks that should include the delivery of a letter from the North Korean leader about their upcoming summit.

The men and two aides went to a high-rise building in east Manhattan, and ate a high-class menu served on State Department crockery in a "working dinner" created to help hash out the two countries' dramatically different ideas of how North Korea should handle its nuclear weapons program. And if for whatever reason the North Koreans say they're not ready to do something like that, fine, we tried.

His emergence as the face of North Korea's diplomacy with Washington suggests he has unusual influence in a country that revolves nearly exclusively around leader Kim Jong Un. "The relationships are building and that's a very positive thing". 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.

On December 22, the United Nations body unanimously imposed the most recent set of sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's November 29 test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, which military analysts have said can reach cities in the US.

"We'll be meeting on June 12 in Singapore".

The summit was previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, but President Trump cancelled it last week. "But oftentimes that's not the way deals work", Trump said. Relations turned sour again after George W. Bush took office in early 2001 with a tough policy on the North.

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