Russian Federation gifts North Korea's Kim Jong-un a ‘box for secrets’

Hannah Rogers
June 2, 2018

One week after abruptly canceling a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump announced the June 12 summit is back on.

The only other senior North Korean official ever to visit the White House was vice-marshal Jo Myong-rok, who delivered a letter to Bill Clinton from Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il.

"We're going to deal", Trump told reporters moments after the meeting ended.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Pyongyang on Thursday, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the state of talks with South Korea - and inviting Kim to visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Mr Trump cancelled the 12 June summit last week, but both sides agreed to move forward.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim Jong Un is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the worldwide legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

Ahead of the meetings, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the North's former military intelligence chief, Kim Yong Chol, had dinner Wednesday night.

Before meeting with Trump, Kim, who is now a target of US sanctions, spent Wednesday and Thursday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.

After the meeting in the Oval Office, Trump walked Kim and his delegation to their auto, an honor usually reserved for a select few foreign dignitaries.

"The big deal with be on June 12".

"I never said it goes in one meeting", he added.

"I look forward to the day when I can take the sanctions off of North Korea".

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Still, one consideration lingers: It takes an fantastic level of shamelessness to say something on national TV, then act like it never happened.

"We will see what happens".

An aide to Kim Jong Un has arrived at the White House, becoming the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit in 18 years.

A number of diplomatic events ensued, including a surprise second meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim at the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom on May 26.

After the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, Trump walked Kim out of the White House. It's the highest-level meeting between a USA president and a North Korean official since 2000. The announcement came despite North Korea dismantling its Punggye-ri nuclear test site as an act of good will earlier that same day. The White House gave him a respectful greeting upon his arrival, with White House chief of staff John F. Kelly meeting him at the ceremonial diplomatic entrance on the South Lawn in full view of television cameras and photographers.

But Trump said some very unusual things, in fact, about the letter from Kim during his interaction with the reporters.

"Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in NY tonight", Pompeo tweeted after the dinner, along with photos of them shaking hands and clinking glasses over the table. However, his comments were the most positive from any USA official since Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North.

"Normally, I would be skeptical of a trilateral format", Oba told Business Insider.

"Kim Jong Un said that the DPRK´s will for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula still remains unchanged and consistent and fixed", KCNA reported after their meeting in Pyongyang on Thursday.

This Reuters photo shows Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, arriving at his hotel in NY on May 30, 2018.

This may be one of the clearest indications that at least portions of the tunnel complex remain usable, something the U.S. had suspected since the North Koreans allowed media to view the detonations.

The Trump administration has pressed for the North to rapidly takes steps to turn over its nuclear program, while Pyongyang has said it expects a slower, step-by-step process in which the North receives reciprocal benefits, including economic incentives.

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