Trump Hails Progress after Receiving Note from N Korea's Kim

Clay Curtis
July 13, 2018

But Trump on Thursday hailed "great progress" after disclosing a July 6 note from Kim in which the North's leader said their efforts could open up a "new future" for the two countries.

If North Korea does not make substantial progress by that time, then Trump will be forced to revert to his old game of chicken policies.

The statement was carried by North Korean state-run press right after U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo finished his two-day visit to the communist country.

Speaking to Fox News about the possibility of a Kim visit to the White House, Trump said last month that such a visit "could happen", and added that he and Kim "had good chemistry".

Separately, the USA has accused North Korea of violating a United Nations sanctions cap on refined oil products.

North Korean officials did not turn up to a Thursday meeting with the USA military about repatriating the remains of American war dead, according to a US official with knowledge of the situation. About 100 wooden transport cases were sent to the DMZ in recent weeks to prepare for receiving United States troop remains.

But the letter appeared to come a day before North Korea accused US diplomats of "gangster-like" negotiating tactics in hammering out the details of the broad agreement Trump and Kim signed at the summit in Singapore on June 12.

"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit. we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

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The North Korean leader also expressed optimism about a future meeting.

Mr. Pompeo denied that the talks went poorly, telling pool reporters that progress was made "in every element of our discussions".

Joint U.S. -North Korean military search teams recovered 229 sets of American remains from North Korea between 1996 and 2005. A total of 7,697 personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. "We will be ready", she told reporters aboard Pompeo's plane, as the top USA diplomat flew home to Washington after attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

The North has invited foreign journalists, but not experts as promised, to the dismantling of a nuclear site, and pledged to close a missile engine testing facility. Under U.N. sanctions, North Korea is allowed to import 500,000 barrels of oil products only and 4 million barrels of crude oil each year.

However, according to the U.S. State Department, . the North contacted the U.S. side, offering to hold the talks on Sunday instead.

The United States has released photographs of eight instances in which North Korean tankers were caught at sea receiving fuel cargo.

Pyongyang has consistently demanded a more gradual process based on developing mutual trust.

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