North Korea state media says Syria's Assad wants to meet Kim

Valery Sharifulin  TASS

In recent months he met both Chinese president Xi Jinping and South Korean president Moon Jae-in in a flurry of diplomacy culminating in a summit with Donald Trump in Singapore on 12 June.

It would be "nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste", Pompeo told reporters after 2½ hours of discussions with Kim Yong Chol, the former North Korean intelligence chief and top nuclear arms negotiator.

President Donald Trump received what he called a "very nice" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday.

The summit is set to be the first meeting between leaders of the two countries after 70 years of confrontation, which started with the Korean War (1950-53) and 25 years of failed negotiations and tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear program.

He said that sanctions would remain in place in the meantime but that he would not impose more while talks continue, and he backed off the term "maximum pressure" that he has used to describe his strategy.

"We'll be, uh, meeting on June 12th in Singapore". That was the last time the two sides, which are technically at war, attempted to arrange a leadership summit.

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According to the BBC report, no date for the visit was mentioned by the North Korea's KCNA news agency. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yong Chol was accused by South Korea of masterminding deadly attacks on a South Korean navy ship and an island in 2010.

The news that Assad may visit the DPRK comes just days after a trip to North Korea by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. No, I don't see that happening. "That's going along very well, but I want it to be meaningful". General Kim Yong-Chol landed in the U.S. the mid-afternoon of Wednesday on board an Air China flight from the Chinese capital of Beijing.

It expresses the North Korean leader's interest in meeting without making any significant concessions or threats, the Journal said, citing a foreign government official who had been briefed on the letter.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following an increase in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and for the worldwide legitimacy a summit with Trump would provide.

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