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.
Kim is carrying a letter for Trump from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The contents of that letter are still unknown, but Trump said that he looks “forward to seeing the letter.”
This would be the first time that a North Korean official visited D.C. since Jo Myong Rok, a senior North Korean military leader, visited former President Bill Clinton in 2000. After that visit, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to try to set up a meeting between then-leader Kim Jong Il and President Clinton. However, these negotiations ultimately failed.
What else did Trump say?
Trump also told Reuters that he was confident that Kim Jong Un wanted to make a deal.
“I think it’ll get done in a very smart, organized fashion and I think that Kim Jong Un wants to see it also," Trump said. "And I’m going to be very happy when the day arrives when we can take sanctions off and have a very good relationship with the entire Korean Peninsula."
But no matter how much Kim wants a deal, Trump says that he will not accept any agreement that doesn't include complete denuclearization.
“I’d like to see a total denuclearization in as quick a period of time as is practicable,” he said. “You’re talking about machinery, you’re talking about things that can’t necessarily happen immediately but they can happen in as rapid a fashion as they can happen. That’s what I want to happen.”
After his Thursday meeting with Kim Yong Chol, Pompeo tweeted that the two had made “good progress.”
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 31, 2018
Remind me again, what happened with the summit?
Trump and Kim Jong Un had been scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12 to discuss a possible road to peace between the two nations.
However, on May 14, Trump abruptly cancelled the summit, citing a “recent statement” by North Korea as the cause.
Then, on May 26, Trump said that the summit could still be convened, perhaps even on the same day for which it was initially planned.