Trump tweets 'very nice' letter from North Korea's Kim

Frederick Owens
July 13, 2018

Donald Trump has hailed a "very nice note" from dictator Kim Jong Un praising the President's "energetic and extraordinary efforts" to improve relations between the United States and North Korea.

Shortly after the apparent setback was reported, President Trump tweeted the translation of a letter he had received from Mr Kim, in which the North Korean leader said: "I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President".

While Pompeo said those talks were making progress, North Korea angrily accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands for quick denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Talks on implementing the agreement were due to be held on Thursday at the truce village of Panmunjom, as arranged last week in Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong-chol.

Adam Mount, an analyst at the Federation of American Scientists who focuses on U.S. nuclear strategy and North Korea, said in a tweet that Kim "blows off Pompeo in Pyongyang, has his team stand up USA negotiators in the DMZ, but still delights Trump with a vague note".

According to a report in ABC News, a planned meeting between the two nations, scheduled to have taken place on Thursday, has been postponed on North Korea's request. About 100 wooden transport cases were sent to the DMZ in recent weeks to prepare for receiving United States troop remains.

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

Roh Kyu-deok, a spokesman for South Korea's Foreign Ministry, said the South Korean government is "constantly in contact with the US counterpart" about progress of the talks on war remains repatriation, but declined to comment on any details, saying that all inquiries on the issue be directed to the USA authorities.

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"It is likely that military generals from the US and North Korea will take part in the meeting". He added that "great progress being made!".

"We had a productive conversation", the USA top diplomat said, but added, "There remains a great deal of work to do".

However, critics have repeatedly said that Mr Trump has since failed to secure any firm commitments from North Korea toward the dismantling of its nuclear weapons.

The United States has released photographs of eight instances in which North Korean tankers were caught at sea receiving fuel cargo. But there have been no missile tests. Trump agreed to provide "security guarantees" to North Korea and both countries agreed to renew relations.

The DPRK side took exception to what it called US demands for unilateral nuclear disarmament rather than a "balanced implementation" of the June 12 joint declaration.

There also appears to be some additional uncertainty surrounding the return of us service members missing from the Korean conflict's remains, a promise that the Trump administration had touted following the Singapore summit.

North Korea has said eight of the 17 - including Megumi Yokota, who disappeared while heading home from school when she was 13 - have already died, while four never entered the country, an account Japan has dismissed as unreliable.

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