President Donald Trump released a letter he recently received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and praised the “great progress” being made in talks with Pyongyang.
The letter is dated July 6, and was given to Secretary of State Pompeo delegation to deliver to Trump while the group was in Pyongyang last week to continue talks on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, senior administration officials tell CNN.
“A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made,” Trump said in a tweet that also included a copy of the correspondence from Kim.
While lacking in specifics about the status of diplomatic talks between the US and North Korea, Kim’s letter lavishes praise on Trump, repeatedly referring to the President as “Your Excellency.”
“I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr. President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the US will surely come to fruition,” Kim writes.
Kim says the Singapore summit and the letter both leaders signed during that meeting “indeed the start of a meaningful journey.”
Trump’s release of the letter comes amid growing skepticism around Pyongyang’s willingness to denuclearize as North Korean officials continue to use typical tactics to stymie talks following Pompeo’s overnight visit to Pyongyang last week. Although the top US diplomat was promised a meeting with the Korean leader, Kim did not meet with Pompeo.
North Koreans did not show up to a meeting planned for Thursday to discuss the return of remains of US service members killed during the Korean War. Trump had held the return up as one of the successes of his June 12 summit in Singapore with Kim.
‘An amazing meeting’
Pompeo last week failed to demonstrate any progress on denuclearization talks, leading one source with knowledge of the discussions to say the White House felt it went “as badly as it could have gone.”
While in Brussels for the annual NATO summit on Thursday, both Trump and Pompeo expressed confidence in the diplomatic process with North Korea despite lacking of tangible signs of progress.
Pompeo said his counterpart Kim Yong Chol in North Korea “made a commitment” that North Korea intends “to denuclearize.”
Trump also touted his meeting with the Kim Jong Un while at NATO, calling it “an amazing meeting” and saying the two “established very good relations.”