United States delegate says summit prep talks 'moving in the right direction'

Mikhail Dzhaparidze  TASS

"It all comes down to what the North Korean leader wants, which is hard to answer unless you have a series of meetings", Collins said.

Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee, visited the White House as Kim Jong-un's special envoy and delivered Kim's letter to Trump.

American delegations are also meeting with North Koreans in Panmunjom and Singapore as part of efforts to confirm the summit that may take place on June 12 in Singapore.

Kim Yong Chol, the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in 18 years, spent nearly 90 minutes in the Oval Office.

Pompeo also was scheduled to meet with Trump to brief him on the state of the talks.

Pyongyang's envoy joined Pompeo at the apartment of a USA diplomat on Manhattan's East side for talks over an evening meal that lasted about an hour and a half.

It was the third meeting between the two officials who are working to finalize planning for a June 12 summit created to end a nuclear standoff that has threatened to plunge Korea back into war.

In addition to Kim's nuclear weapons, the summit may include withdrawal of some sanctions as well relations between North and South Korea.

Kim Yong Chol was greeted at the White House by chief of staff John Kelly and then whisked into the Oval Office.

There was little ceremony and no handshake.

The State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official have concluded their meetings in NY, wrapping up the high-stakes diplomatic negotiation almost two hours earlier than expected. "If we believe that, we will never be able to negotiate with them and make peace with them". He strolled to a group of nearby reporters to declare the meeting a success. I think we're going to have a relationship, and it'll start on June 12. And they want other things along the line.

He described the upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un as a "getting to know you meeting plus". They warned that the idea of shipping the North's nuclear weapons out of the country was "naive and risky".

Melania Trump not attending G7 summit in Charlevoix later this week
In one snap, Mrs Trump was visible next to her husband, but the social media site still lit up with what became a new theory . She was, according a tweet Trump sent last week, at the White House, "feeling great".

Predicting a "political and economic bonanza" for the North Koreans, Lee said that "Kim will have ensnared Trump in an open-ended, drawn-out negotiation process, rather than the start of a negotiated agreement, which will enable Kim to buy time and money with which to flawless his own nuclear posture review". "I have no doubt", the US President said. Trump said Friday he believed Kim Jong Un would agree to denuclearization, but the two countries have offered differing visions of what that entails.

But he said that, after what have now been two meetings with Kim Jong Un and three with Kim Yong Chol, he believes the North is at least ready to consider addressing U.S. demands for denuclearisation.

"I hope it will materialize as both leaders are so unpredictable". The meeting was expected to be much shorter.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It'll be a beginning. I purposely didn't open the letter.

It upset Pyongyang because after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shutdown his nuclear programme in 2003 after which he was overthrown and killed in 2011 following attacks by U.S. and its European allies.

The understanding among the USA officials is the letter is generally positive and a step in the right direction toward a meeting between Kim and Trump.

One arms control organization, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is offering to help pay the hotel cost for the summit.

"That letter was a very nice letter". "Hopefully we will have a meeting on the 12th".

Minutes later, he breezily acknowledged he hadn't read it.

"I was surprised to see the approval rating for Trump has increased".

But the cynics were also cheered that Trump now publicly accepts that the meeting is probably only the start of the process, and some former officials think some progress can be made.

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