Trump says North Korea talks positive, expects Kim letter

New Mexico Bill Richardson speaks at the Conference on Iran

President Donald Trump is expected to receive a letter from Kim Jong Un on Friday, and it reportedly offers no concessions and merely asks Trump for a meeting. Asked if the United States expects North Korea take concrete steps towards denuclearization, as the U.S. has demanded, an unnamed official at a briefing couldn't answer.

Pompeo, Trump's former Central Intelligence Agency chief, has traveled to Pyongyang twice in recent weeks for meetings with Kim Jong-un, and has said there is a "shared understanding" between the two sides about what they hope to achieve in talks.

But the White House says talks of the "total denuclearization of the peninsula" do not extend to USA weapons systems - a defense umbrella covering South Korea which includes nuclear-armed submarines and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear bombs not based on the peninsula.

"We are doing very well with North Korea", Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before departing on a trip to Texas. There's a very good chance that it won't be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings.

"I think it'll get done in a very smart, organized fashion and I think that Kim Jong Un wants to see it also", Trump said.

In the short term, Moscow "cannot afford to be remembered as the country that had no hat in the ring leading up to June 12", he said.

Establishing a good relationship with Kim Yong Chol, the highest-level North Korean official to visit the U.S.in 18 years, is key to ensuring smooth sailing at the summit.

Pompeo spoke to reporters at a news conference in NY after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.

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There were reports earlier on Wednesday that South Korean officials were noting "quite significant" differences between the United States and North Korea over denuclearization. Hopefully we will have a meeting on the 12th.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting in Pyongyang.

However, officials both sides have since said they are still working toward making the June 12 meeting happen.

North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have been a source of tension for decades, has made advances in missile technology in recent years and its nuclear arsenal now threatens the United States.

The meeting follows two landmark summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in the last five weeks.

The U.S. team led by Hagin, the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and North Korea's delegation led by Kim Chang-son, director of the North's State Affairs Commission Secretariat, have been in Singapore since Monday.

Since that short-lived crisis, diplomats in both countries have conducted an intense flurry of negotiations, culminating on Thursday when Pompeo sat down in NY with Kim's envoy.

President Donald Trump at the White House on May 16.

Just last week, the summit was called off by the White House, yet since then Trump has repeatedly teased the idea that the summit may go on, as planned.

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