North Korea

Trump receives ‘nice letter’ from Kim Jong-un following up on their Singapore summit

The US president tweets his thanks to the North Korean leader: ‘I look forward to seeing you soon!’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 August, 2018, 11:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2018, 4:59am

The White House said on Thursday that US President Donald Trump received a new letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un following up on their Singapore summit. The correspondence came amid fresh concerns over Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearisation.

Trump tweeted early Thursday his thanks to the North Korean leader “for your nice letter — I look forward to seeing you soon!”

The White House did not provide details on the specific content of the letter, which was received Wednesday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the correspondence was “aimed at following up on their meeting in Singapore and advancing the commitments made in the US-DPRK joint statement”.

She also told reporters that there was “no meeting planned” between the two leaders.

Trump in his tweet expressed gratitude to Kim “for keeping your word” concerning the return of the remains of more than 50 Americans service members killed during the Korean war. Vice-President Mike Pence and US military leaders received the remains in Hawaii during a sombre ceremony on Wednesday.

The latest letter from Kim arrived as concerns rise about North Korea’s ballistic missile programme and commitment to denuclearisation.

Senior Trump administration officials have urged patience, cautioning that the process of denuclearising North Korea and removing the threat of its long-range missiles will take time.

US: nuclear-free North Korea in a year ‘probably not happening’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to an Asian security meeting in Singapore, where a meeting this weekend with North Korea’s foreign minister was possible.

Trump has sought to show progress from his June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore. He said during a rally on Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, that the US was “doing well” with North Korea, citing the return of detained Americans and Pyongyang’s ceasing of nuclear and missile tests.

“A lot of good things are happening. No tests. No rockets flying. But we’ll see what happens,” Trump said.

US officials have been closely monitoring North Korea’s willingness to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that US intelligence officials suspect North Korea is continuing to build new missiles in the same research facility that manufactured the country’s ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

It also reported that North Korean officials have discussed how they plan to deceive the US about the size of their arsenal of missiles and nuclear warheads and facilities.