President Donald Trump said Friday that the scrapped June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is back on again after a week of uncertainty.
Trump met Friday with North Korea’s former military intelligence chief at the White House, making him the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit in 18 years. The meeting between Trump and Kim Yong Chol, described by NPR as Kim Jong Un’s “right-hand man,” lasted for more than an hour.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 1: Trump said he hopes that the June 12 meeting will be the first of many between U.S. and North Korean officials.
"I think it will be a process,” Trump told reporters after Friday’s meeting. “I never said it will go in one meeting but the relationships are building, and that's a big positive.”
The president confirmed he was given a letter from Kim Jong Un, though he declined to discuss details. It was not immediately clear whether he had read the note.
“It was a very interesting letter,” he said a few minutes before telling reporters he had yet to open Kim Jong Un’s letter.
Trump said Thursday that Kim Yong Chol planned to deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un as the two countries continued work to salvage the canceled planned for June 12 in Singapore.
Original report: American and North Korean officials held a trio of meetings around the globe Thursday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had a “substantive” discussion in New York with Kim Yong Chol and others. Meanwhile, a U.S. delegation met with North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. In Singapore, officials from both countries met to discuss logistics.
"I think it will be very positive,” Trump said of Thursday’s discussions. “We will see what happens. It is all a process."
If the summit takes place, it will be a historic meeting between the two nations.
Trump on May 24 abruptly canceled the planned meeting in a letter addressed to Kim Jong Un, citing the country’s “tremendous anger and open hostility.” However, he didn’t dismiss the possibility that the meeting could be rescheduled. North Korean officials also said they'd still be willing to meet face-to-face, despite the tension.