White House planning second Trump-Kim meeting
A letter from Kim Jong Un to Donald Trump was described as ‘very warm, very positive’.
Donald Trump has received a request from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a follow-up to their historic June summit, and planning is in motion to make it happen.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said no details had been finalised, but the US president had received a letter from Mr Kim which she described as “very warm, very positive”.
The White House will not release the full letter unless Mr Kim agrees it can be made public, she said.
“The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the president, which we are open to and are already in the process of co-ordinating that,” Ms Sanders said at her first press briefing in nearly three weeks.
She cited the letter as “further evidence of progress” in relations between the leaders.
Relations between the two leaders have seemed to ebb and flow since Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to meet a North Korean leader.
Their historic one-day summit in June in Singapore was held to discuss denuclearising the Korean peninsula, and Mr Trump emerged from their talks full of praise for the authoritarian Mr Kim.
Mr Trump recently called off a planned visit by secretary of state Mike Pompeo to North Korea, citing lack of progress towards eliminating its nuclear arsenal.
But on Sunday the president offered fresh praise for Mr Kim following a North Korean military parade that, unlike past events, downplayed the missiles and nuclear weapons that brought North Korea to the brink of military conflict with the US just a year ago.
“This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea,” Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday about the parade.
North Korea has just staged their parade, celebrating 70th anniversary of founding, without the customary display of nuclear missiles. Theme was peace and economic development. “Experts believe that North Korea cut out the nuclear missiles to show President Trump......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
...its commitment to denuclearize.” @FoxNews This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea. Thank you To Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong! There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other! Much better than before I took office.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
Ms Sanders also cited the parade, saying: “The recent parade in North Korea, for once, was not about their nuclear arsenal,” characterising the event as “a sign of good faith”.
Mr Trump, she said, had achieved “tremendous success” with his policies so far towards North Korea “and this letter was further evidence of progress in that relationship”.