WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted a letter to him of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a forerunner of “pioneering progress” in U.S.-North Korea relations, despite signs that the path-finding of the diplomacy between the opponents is running into problems.
Trump described in the letter as “very nice note and said:” Great progress!”
The letter is dated on 6 July. That is when Secretary of state Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang and seemingly little progress has been made in the elaboration of the details of North Korea’s commitment to a “complete denuclearization.”
Kim made the bet when he Trumps in Singapore the last month. Kim also agreed to the repatriation of the mortal remains of the AMERICAN troops, who died during the Korean War six decades ago.
A planned meeting on Thursday between the North Korean and AMERICAN officers in the Demilitarized Zone between the two koreas to discuss the return of the remains was postponed.
The State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said North Korea called for noon on Thursday and offered to meet on Sunday. “We’re ready,” she told reporters on board of Pompeo’s plane, as the top U.S. diplomat flew home to Washington after attending a NATO summit.
It was not immediately clear what the reason for the delay. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing unnamed sources, said the North requested discussions on a higher level. The talks on Sunday expected to involve officials from the Pentagon and the U. N.
Pompeo told reporters after his visit to North Korea last week that the meeting in the file village of Panmunjom was set for Thursday, but “could move through a day or two.”
The secretary of state not to Kim as he had on his previous two trips to Pyongyang this year, and after his departure, the North-ministry of foreign affairs accused the U.S. of “gangster-like”demands that one give up its nuclear weapons.
Pompeo gave a rosier reading. He reported that the two sides had a substantive discussion about the next steps in the direction of denuclearization.
During an official visit to Britain, Trump posted images of the Korean language letter from Kim and its English translation. Kim speaks “unchanging trust and confidence in the president, and wishes that “groundbreaking advances” in promoting the relations will “bring to our next meeting forward.”
But there is a growing scepticism in Washington about the Trump administration’s engagement with North Korea. Recent reports suggest that the North has continued to expand the infrastructure at nuclear and missile sites, and that U.S. intelligence assesses that the North is not the intention to fully denuclearize.
Trump himself has remained optimistic about the outcome of the first summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea. Earlier on Thursday, after attending the NATO summit in Brussels, he told reporters that there were clear signs of progress with North Korea, in particular, that there is no missile and nuclear tests have occurred for almost nine months.
Associated Press writer Matthew Lee to the secretary of state’s plane contributed to this report.