Top North Korean envoy meets Trump at White House

Top North Korean envoy meets Trump at White House

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol are meeting at a Washington hotel but they're not responding to reporters' questions heading into the talks.

White House deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino described the earlier meeting Pompeo and U.S. Special Representative Steve Beigun had with Kim Yong Chol as a good one.

But none of those would tackle the American objective: getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons for good, and allowing global inspectors to verify that it's done so.

"We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and we are talking about a lot of different things". He said the location would be announced "in the future".

Separately, a North Korean diplomat arrived in Sweden on Friday for an unscheduled visit leading some to speculate it might be the spot for a second summit. Barring any last-minute diplomatic tussles between Kim Yong Chol and the White House as his visit to Washington wraps up, Biegun is expected to travel to Stockholm to meet Choe on Sunday, according to a South Korean official.

The North Korean emissary met earlier with Pompeo at a Washington hotel and they were reconvening after the White House meeting.

The State Department said that Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative on North Korea, would carry on discussions at a conference in Sweden starting on Saturday that will involve Pyongyang officials.

Despite the summit announcement, there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over USA demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States or over Pyongyang's repeated demands for a lifting of punishing sanctions.

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It is possible that US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun would join the meeting later, The Associated Press, citing an anonymous source, reported. The US is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization. Trump and Kim Jong-un held a historic summit in Singapore in June previous year.

Trump has praised Pyongyang's willingness to turn over remains of American service members who died in the Korean war and the release of three US citizens who were detained in North Korean jails.

The North insists the deal calls for sanctions relief and other corresponding U.S. measures for the denuclearization steps it has taken so far, including its dismantling of a nuclear testing site.

His trip to Washington is viewed by some as a sign that the sides are getting closer to reaching an agreement regarding a second Trump-Kim Jong Un summit.

Progress after the first summit has been slow as North Korea has been eyeing sanctions relief.

Arrival of North Korea letter to the White House.

"I worry that the timing works to North Korea's benefit", Mr. Cha said, citing pressures on Mr. Trump such as the partial USA government shutdown and the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian ties to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Kim expressed frustration in an annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations. "As a result, North Korea has neared the time when it could credibly do so", it says.

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