Pompeo receives letter from Kim to Trump
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has received a letter from Kim Jong Un to U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a State Department official.
The official confirmed what Trump had told reporters earlier Friday, that a letter was handed over at the Korean DMZ on Thursday and is now en route to him.
“A letter is being delivered to me, a personal letter from Kim Jong Un to me. That was handed at the border, I don’t know if you know that, but it was handed at the border yesterday,” he told the press aboard Air Force One, adding that he believes it will be a “positive” letter.
“It’s being delivered. It’s actually an elegant way. The way it used to be many years ago before we had all the new contraptions that we all use,” Trump said. “But a letter is being delivered to me and I think it’s going to be a positive letter.”
It is not the first missive between the two leaders. Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol hand-delivered a letter to Trump at the White House before the two men met in Singapore in September, and several have changed hands since then.
The direct communication comes after the North Korean leader told a South Korean official that he has “unwavering trust for President Trump” and wants to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula before Trump finishes his term.
“This trust, despite some difficulties surfaced during the negotiation process between the U.S. and the North, will continue,” said South Korean special envoy Chung Eun-yong, who met with Kim in Pyongyang on Wednesday.
Chung said Kim told him North Korea “was willing to take more active measures toward denuclearization if his advance steps could be met with matching measures (from the US).”
Kim said he had “never said anything bad about President Trump to anyone,” Chung reported, adding that the North Korean leader expressed a wish to end 70 years of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.
Trump tweeted his thanks in response to the relayed statement of confidence.
“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”
Since the two leaders’ meeting in Singapore in June, negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea have stalled. Trump canceled Pompeo’s planned trip to the North Korean capital last month, citing little evidence that North Korea had come through on any of its commitments to denuclearize.
Pompeo also has previously admitted to lawmakers that Pyongyang has shown little indication it is moving toward denuclearization.
It is likely that much of the diplomacy will fall to South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who has made peace with the North his greatest mission as the South’s leader.
A date has been set for the upcoming summit between the two neighbors, with Moon traveling north to Pyongyang for the meeting later in September.
Sunday will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.