President Donald Trump said on Friday a nuclear arms summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the United States pulled out of will now go ahead as scheduled on June 12 in Singapore, adding another twist to a high-stake diplomatic dance.
Trump says after an Oval Office meeting Friday with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol that he'd be making a mistake not to go forward with the on-again, off-again nuclear summit in Singapore. Following the meeting, Trump announced to reporters that the June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore was back on.
But he has had two summit meetings in recent weeks with South Korea and made two visits to China as part of a campaign of diplomatic outreach aimed at easing Pyongyang's isolation and US -led worldwide sanctions.
Trump made the announcement, just a week after he canceled the summit, after an hour-long meeting with a top North Korean official who delivered a letter from the North Korean leader. They continued to speak and posed for photos before Kim got into a black SUV and departed. He later noted that he had not opened the letter.
Pompeo said he believes North Korea is contemplating a new strategic path forward, but he cautioned that the country would "have to choose a path that is fundamentally different" to achieve security - meaning complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.
Despite Lavrov's invitation to Kim, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that it's "too early to speculate" about a Putin-Kim summit.
Kim, the former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader's closest aides, landed midafternoon Wednesday on an Air China flight from Beijing.More news: Bale’s double wins third straight Champions League for Real
The visit marks the second time in history a North Korean official has visited the White House.
USA officials learned of the letter's substance through diplomatic channels in the absence of reading the letter itself, the person said. Kim Yong Chol is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the United States in almost 20 years.
As for the letter, Trump initially said the note from the North Korean leader he once dubbed a "sick puppy" was "very nice" and joked about auctioning off a chance to see it.
Kim's right hand man General Kim Yong Chol flew into NY on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the assembly.
Still, another Cheong Wa Dae official has said Moon's trip depends on the outcome of ongoing discussions between the United States and North Korea.
White House officials maintain that Trump was hopeful the North was merely negotiating but that he was prepared for the letter to mark the end of the two-month flirtation. "I may be in for a big surprise, folks", he told the journalists. Kim needed a special waiver from the State Department to travel to NY and to Washington. "It's hard to envision a scenario, in which Kim Jong-un would be satisfied with any security guarantees that the United States might offer in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons", he said.