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North Korea's Kim asks Trump for another meeting in new letter

The two leaders have been discussing North Korea’s nuclear program since their 12 June summit.

FILE: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on 12 June 2018. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un asking for a second meeting and the White House is already looking at scheduling one, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday.

The two leaders have been discussing North Korea’s nuclear program since their 12 June summit, which has been criticised for being short on concrete details about how and whether Kim is willing to give up on a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States.

The timing of a second Trump-Kim meeting was unclear. The sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month may provide an opportunity, although Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton said he did not believe Kim would attend.

Trump had told reporters on Friday that a personal letter from Kim was on the way.

“It was a very warm, very positive letter,” Sanders said at a briefing.

“The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the president which we are open to and are already in the process of coordinating that,” she said.

Sanders told reporters the letter exhibited “a continued commitment to focus on denuclearization of the peninsula.” She said a military parade in Pyongyang on Sunday was “a sign of good faith” because it did not feature any long-range nuclear missiles.

Trump is doing the right thing in trying to set up another meeting with Kim, said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies from the Center for the National Interest, a think tank in Washington.

“When you combine Kim’s pledge to denuclearize by the end of Trump’s first term, as well as not displaying any long-range ballistic missiles during the north’s recent 70th anniversary celebrations, there are reasons for optimism,” he said.

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