Trump Receives North Korean Envoy in Historic White House Visit

New Mexico Bill Richardson speaks at the Conference on Iran

President Trump announced Friday that his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place as originally planned on June 12 in Singapore as the start of a "process" to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons.

"As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of United States hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward", Kim told Lavrov.

Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim Jong Un and vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, is the most senior North Korean official to meet top USA officials for talks in the United States in almost two decades.

In addition to the NY meeting, USA and North Korean officials have been in talks in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas, and in Singapore for the possible summit between their leaders on June 12.

"I look forward to the day I can take the sanctions off North Korea", Trump said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., a black sport utility vehicle entered the White House grounds and pulled up to the South Portico, where Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief who is leading the North Korea side in pre-summit talks, stepped out.

Within a day, both sides were in new talks to save the summit, and Kim Yong-chol flew to NY this week to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

After the meeting, Trump and Kim Yong Chol posed for photos on the White House lawn.

On Sunday, officials from North Korea and the USA met for talks at the "truce village" in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the Korean Peninsula.

The letter appeared to be in response to a comment from Trump last Thursday when he canceled the summit, accusing Pyongyang of hostility, but urged the North Korean leader to "call me or write" if he had a change of heart.

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USA -ally South Korea and North Korea have technically been at war for decades, even though the Korean War's military combat ended in 1953, because a peace agreement was never signed.

Considered the North Korean leader's right-hand man, Kim Yong-chol is the most senior official from Pyongyang to visit the U.S. in 18 years.

Though the United States is engaged in three separate sets of talks with North Koreans around the globe, it's still unclear whether Trump will actually meet with Kim.

He also said that North Korea "wanted to do denuclearisation", although the North did not confirm this.

Rare visit: Kim Yong Chol is the North's top nuclear arms negotiator and its former intelligence chief.

Kim Yong Chol is known to be hard to work with, sarcastic and not sufficiently deferential to his superiors, Leadership Watch said. He was granted special permission to travel to the United States for the meeting, the State Department said.

In his interview with Reuters, the US president said a nuclear deal with North Korea would have to cover its missile program.

Many expert observers expect Kim, perhaps with tacit Chinese backing, to demand that Washington also reduce its own military footprint in South Korea and loosen its guarantees to treaty ally Japan. And if for whatever reason the North Koreans say they're not ready to do something like that, fine, we tried. The last similar meeting was in 2000 during the Clinton presidency.

A White House visit will be a propaganda win for North Korea.

The White House emphasised that it has remained in close contact with South Korean and Japanese officials as preparations for the talks continue.

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