Putin’s meeting with North Korean leader may be held

Vladimir Putin

Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting, May 31, 2018, in NY.

Trump told reporters he hadn't read the letter yet and added with a smile, "I may be in for a big surprise, folks".

After a almost 80-minute-long meeting in the Oval Office, Trump, Pompeo, and Kim Yong Chol posed for a photo opp.

The announcement came after Trump met for more than 1 1/2 hours in the Oval Office with Kim Yong Chol, the vice-chairman of North Korea's Central Committee, who delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong Un.

"The difference of the position between the North and the USA in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is still huge", South Korea's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, said on Wednesday, as NK News noted. The last similar meeting was in 2000 during the Clinton presidency.

After the meeting, Mr Trump said Mr Kim was committed to denuclearisation, and that the letter from Mr Kim was "a very nice letter, a very interesting letter".

Lavrov passed greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim, saying he wished him success in the "major undertakings that have been initiated on the Korean peninsula", the ministry said in a statement.

North Korea Vice-Chairman Kim Yong-chol meets with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 31, 2018 in NY.

"I haven't seen the letter yet", the president said.

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The summit was previously scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, but President Trump cancelled it last week.

Trump said the lengthy conversation Friday "went very well" and called it "a get to know you kind of a situation".

The United States, in return for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, could potentially loosen sanctions, leading to possible food and other aid to impoverished North Korea and improved ties with South Korea.

"You people are going to have to travel, because you'll be in Singapore on June 12th", he told reporters awaiting word of the meeting.

In the Panmunjeom Declaration signed on April 27, Moon and Kim agreed to push for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and replace an armistice, which left the two Koreas technically at war, with a peace treaty.

The military talks will take place on June 14 on the northern side of the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone separating the two countries.

It was a extraordinary softening of tone toward North Korea from a president who a year ago threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the country because of the threat its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles pose to the United States.

The upcoming meeting between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader will be the first of its kind.

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