Trump receives 'warm' letter from Kim seeking another meeting

kim-trump-afp A combination photo shows a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) handout of Kim Jong Un, and Donald Trump posing for a photo in New York City | Reuters

In an apparently "very warm, very positive" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to US President Donald Trump, the former has sought another meeting with the president and White House is looking at scheduling one, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday.

The leaders had earlier met in Singapore in June but the summit was later criticised for being short on details about the nuclear weapons and Kim's plans to give them up.

Meanwhile, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in will be holding his third summit with Kim next week in Pyongyang. There is discussion of a three-way summit involving Trump, with the aim of agreeing a joint declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War.

The conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the US-led United Nations forces including South Korea technically still at war with North Korea.

Trump told reporters on Friday that a personal letter from Kim was on the way.

“It was a very warm, very positive letter,” Sanders said at Monday’s briefing.

“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 that,” she said.

Sanders told reporters the letter exhibited “a continued commitment to focus on denuclearisation of the peninsula.”

She said a military parade in Pyongyang on Sunday was “a sign of good faith” because it did not feature any long-range missiles.

In South Korea, officials nurtured hope that next week’s inter-Korean summit could provide renewed momentum to nuclear negotiations, after last month’s setback when Trump cancelled a visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo due to a lack of progress.