US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that two days of talks with Kim Yong-chol in NY has contributed "real progress" towards the planned summit, which is expected to be held in Singapore, adding that the US hopes it will lead to the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end to North Korea's nuclear programme.
Gen Kim Yong-chol's visit to Washington came a day after he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.
Since that short-lived crisis, diplomats in both countries have conducted an intense flurry of negotiations, culminating on Thursday when Pompeo sat down in NY with Kim's envoy.
On Sunday, officials from North Korea and the USA met for talks at the "truce village" in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the Korean Peninsula. He is North Korea's former military intelligence chief and is one of the North Korean leader's closest aides. "If it's a positive meeting I love it - if it's a negative meeting I'm not happy", he said.
In a related news, an official from Trump's State Department said, "Between now and if we're going to have a summit, they're going to have to make clear what they're willing to do". "Steak, corn, and cheese on the menu", Pompeo tweeted.
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Kim's arrival in Washington - in a small caravan of SUV's from NY - came a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that he was confident negotiations with Pyongyang were "moving in the right direction". Regarding the date for the meeting, she added, "We're going to continue to shoot for June 12th".
But he has had two summit meetings in recent weeks with South Korea and made two visits to China as part of a campaign of diplomatic outreach aimed at easing Pyongyang's isolation and US -led worldwide sanctions.
The president said he believed Kim wanted a deal.
In his remarks following the meeting, Trump stressed that the June 12 summit is the start of a "process". By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea.
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The United States and South Korea have technically been at war with the North for decades, even though the Korean War's combat ended in 1953, because a peace agreement was never signed, only an armistice.
Experts agree that a meeting between Kim and Trump would legitimize a pariah nation and grant North Korea a long-term wish. He delivered a letter from Kim Jong-un to Trump.
Trump views a summit as a legacy-defining opportunity to make a nuclear deal, but he has left the world guessing since canceling the meeting last week in an open letter to Kim that complained of the North's "tremendous anger and open hostility". The diplomat is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S. "That's something that could come out ... of the meeting" on June 12, he said.
Since January, Kim has significantly toned down his rhetoric against Washington and Seoul and tried to reach out to them following a year of heightened nuclear tensions that saw increased fears of war on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee, was allowed into the United States despite being on a USA sanctions list.
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The official arrived just after 1 p.m. ET on the White House South Lawn, where foreign dignitaries are typically received by the President.