Follow Us:

North Korean official heads to White House with Kim Jong-un’s letter

SNS | New Delhi |

Kim Jong-un’s emissary is heading to Washington with a letter from the North Korean leader to US President Donald Trump after two days of talks in New York with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that has brightened the chances of a summit between the two leaders.

“I am confident we are moving in the right direction,” Pompeo said on Thursday at a news conference in New York after his talks with Kim Yong-chol, the North Korean leader’s representative.

In a sign that the US and North Korea have made progress towards holding the historic summit in Singapore on June 12 after Trump had abruptly called it off last week, the New York negotiations were wrapped up two hours early.

The visit to deliver the letter, which is being highly anticipated by the White House, would be historic given that Kim Yong Chol is still under American sanctions and this would be the first instance of a North Korean official entering the grounds of the White House.

Logistics of his visit are still being worked out, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters abroad Air Force One en route to Dallas from Houston.

“We now know that we’re going to welcome the North Koreans to DC tomorrow. We understand there’s a letter coming, and we look forward to receiving that letter and are trying to work towards our ultimate goal of denuclearisation,” he said.

Gidley did not respond to a question if the letter would be received by President Donald Trump himself.

“No one is saying they’re sitting down in the Oval Office yet. The details are still being worked out, he said.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Thursday at the Andrews Air force Base near Washington, Trump said that the talks in New York had been “very positive”, adding “I look forward to seeing what’s in the letter. But it’s very important to them”.

The talks started in New York because North Korean diplomats are barred by the US from travelling 40 km beyond the city and Kim Yong-chol needed an exemption to go to the capital.

(With inputs from agencies)