North Korea’s Kim Sends Auspicious Letter to Trump, Floats Another Meeting

July 12, 2018 5:47 pm Last Updated: July 12, 2018 8:06 pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a letter to President Donald Trump praising progress in relations between the two countries and bringing up the possibility of another meeting between the two heads of state.

“I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts, and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr. President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] and the U.S. will surely come to fruition,” the letter states, concluding, “I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK–U.S. relations will bring our next meeting forward.”

Trump posted the letter, dated July 6, on Twitter on July 12.

“A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made!” Trump wrote.

The letter contrasts with a statement put out on July 7 by an unnamed North Korean official saying that Washington’s attitude and stance were “regrettable” and that the United States “came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization.”

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.

Pompeo dismissed the statement, while Trump suggested it was written under pressure from China.

Kim asked China to help ease international sanctions against North Korea during his most recent visit to Beijing in mid-June, according to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

Trump, who has criticized China for trade imbalances and unfair practices, imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports that went into effect on July 6. China responded by tariffs worth the same amount on U.S. imports. The United States on July 10 followed with tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of imports. That measure is open to public comment until the end of August.

While China issued a statement on July 11 saying it will retaliate, the value of goods China imported from the United States in 2016 was just over half that amount, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Trump met with Kim in Singapore on June 12—the first meeting between leaders of the two countries. They signed a joint statement reaffirming North Korea’s commitment to giving up nuclear weapons. Trump agreed to provide “security guarantees” to North Korea, and both countries agreed to renew relations.

The Trump administration has continually said it plans to uphold sanctions until the denuclearization is fully achieved.

Last week, Trump urged Beijing to continue sanctions efforts, noting that the border between China and North Korea was “getting a little weaker now.”

Reports also emerged that the North has completed an underground tunnel linking North Korea’s military materials factories with China—allowing the regime to secretly move intercontinental ballistic missiles—while also developing a new submarine capable of launching nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

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