Donald Trump tweets ‘very nice note’ from Chairman Kim as North Korea a no-show for meeting on US troop remains
Mr Kim spoke of a new future between North Korea and the United States. (AP: Wong Maye-E/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US President Donald Trump said he received a note from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in which Mr Kim said he believed their efforts to improve relations will succeed.
In a post on Twitter, Mr Trump said the letter, dated July 6, was very nice and was a sign of “Great progress being made!”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang on July 6 and seemingly made little progress in fleshing out details of North Korea’s commitment for “complete denuclearisation”.
But following the meeting, North Korea released a statement calling the meeting “regrettable” and accusing the US of using “gangster-like” tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament.
Mr Kim spoke of a “new future” between North Korea and the United States and expressed hope for “practical actions”, but made no mention of denuclearisation.
“I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the US will surely come to fruition,” Mr Kim wrote, referring to North Korea by its acronym.
Mr Pompeo met with North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol. (AP: Andrew Harnik)
North Korea a no-show for planned meeting
Mr Kim agreed in broad terms to “work toward denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula when he met Mr Trump in Singapore last month.
He also agreed to repatriate remains of US troops who died during the Korean War six decades ago.
But North Korea’s delegation failed show up to a scheduled meeting on Thursday at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas.
North Korean and US teams, as well as UN officials, had been due to discuss the details of repatriation.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said North Korea has now offered to meet the delegation on Sunday.
“Midday today they contacted us and offered to meet on Sunday,” Ms Nauert said in a statement. “We will be ready.”
The delay has fuelled growing doubts about the success of the Singapore summit.
The BBC reported speculation that North Korea may want payment for the return of the remains.
Mr Trump announced last month that North Korea has returned the remains of 200 US troops, but there was no official confirmation of the move from military authorities.
According to the Pentagon, North Korean officials have indicated in the past that they have the remains of as many as 200 US troops.
The remains of some US soldiers were last returned in 2007, when then-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson visited Pyongyang.