Tuesday 11 December 2018

US keen as North Korea asks for second Trump-Kim summit

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un with US President Donald Trump at their historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore this summer. Photo: Reuters
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un with US President Donald Trump at their historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore this summer. Photo: Reuters

Rob Crilly

Kim Jong-un, the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea, has written to US President Donald Trump requesting a second meeting, according to the White House.

Sarah Sanders, the president's press secretary, characterised the letter as "very warm" and said talks had started over another summit.

Hopes had begun to wane that Mr Trump's historic meeting with Mr Kim in June had yielded progress on removing North Korea's nuclear threat.

However, Ms Sanders said Mr Trump's approach had already yielded results but said she could offer no specific information about the time or place of a second meeting.

"The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the president, which we are open to and are already in the process of coordinating," she said. "The recent parade in North Korea for once was not about their nuclear arsenal. The president has achieved tremendous success with his policy so far and this letter was further evidence of progress in that relationship."

American nerves have on edge since North Korea tested an inter-continental ballistic missile suggesting it had the capability of striking US soil.

A string of tests suggested the secretive state had made rapid progress in its weapons technology and, in April, Mr Kim announced his nuclear capability to be "complete".

The two leaders met in June and issued a joint communique reaffirming North Korea's previously stated intention to work towards "complete denuclearisation" -without specifying a timeline or what that might even look like.

On Monday, three US officials told NBC they believed that rather than curtailing its nuclear activity, North Korea had instead begun to conceal its weapons programme, building structures to hide the entrance to at least one warhead storage facility.

Irish Independent

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