North Korea's Kim Sends Auspicious Letter to Trump, Floats Another Meeting

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Trump Releases Letter from Kim Jong-un | International/News/News/KBS

President Trump released a letter written by North Korea Dictator Kim Jong Un Thursday afternoon and said nuclear negotiations with the regime are going well.

Trump suggested on Monday that China, North Korea's neighbor and main trading partner, might be seeking to derail USA efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but said he was confident that Kim Jong Un would uphold the pact the two agreed in Singapore.

A statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, gave a starkly different account from one provided just hours before by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who attended the talks.

"Great progress being made", Trump tweeted on Thursday along with the letter, calling it a "very nice note from Chairman Kim".

Kim's missive also hinted at the possibility of another summit, saying that the "epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-US relations will bring our next meeting forward".

North Korean and U.S. teams, as well as United Nations officials, had been due to discuss the details of repatriation.

Pompeo was not granted an audience with Kim, and North Korea criticized USA demands following the visit.

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CNN reported last month that the Trump administration is expecting North Korea to return up to 200 sets of remains and that planning for the exchange has been underway.

Mr. Trump repeatedly touted that he shared a positive relationship with Mr. Kim, despite North Korean officials criticizing the U.S.in recent weeks. They signed a joint statement reaffirming North Korea's commitment to giving up nuclear weapons.

The U.S. says North Korea has continued to smuggle refined petroleum products into the country in excess of the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under United Nations sanctions imposed because of nuclear and missile programs. Despite Trump's claims that progress has been made on a denuclearization agreement, no concrete framework has been established between the two leaders to reconcile policy disagreements.

But skepticism remains over whether North Korea's findings will satisfy Japan.

In the tweet sent on Thursday, Trump declared "Great progress being made!" with North Korea, despite signs that diplomacy between the traditional adversaries was running into trouble.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said the allies are now trying to identify some 180 sets of remains, some of which are presumed to be South Korean soldiers. "We had anticipated the USA side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", a foreign ministry official said in a statement.

It's unclear why the North Korean officials were not present.

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