Kim Jong Un wants to meet Donald Trump in Switzerland

Howard TerryJul 08, 2018

"Rocket man", of course, is the nickname Trump famously - and mockingly - bestowed on Kim at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries after long-range missile tests by North Korea.

Donald Trump has sent secretary of state Mike Pompeo to North Korea with two gifts for Kim Jong Un - including an Elton John CD featuring the song Rocket Man, according to South Korean media.

Kim had asked Trump about the "Rocket Man" reference when the two met in Singapore for the recent summit, according to the newspaper. Trump replied, "I had a very good feeling about him from the standpoint - I shook his hand". Trump reportedly asked Kim if he had ever heard the song and Kim said he had not.

Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" - a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stops short of longstanding United States demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

ABC News' Tara Palmieri reported Kim Yong Chol told Pompeo he would have to pay taxes for his frequent visits to North Korea. "I think we understand each other".

The network news said Pompeo's response did not appear to confirm or deny the newspaper's report.

"If they're serious, then we can get down to the business of defining the terms of final denuclearization", said one official.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on a trip to Montana that he was still upbeat about the future of North Korea and his relationship with its leader.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the conning tower of a sub during his inspection of Korean People's Army Naval Unit 167 in this undated photo. He said the Trump administration can not give in to demands from Russian Federation and China to loosen sanctions before denuclearization is achieved.

Sources close to the Trump administration have said on background that Mr. Pompeo's immediate goal is to try and nail down a date for the coming weeks or months by which the North Korean leader must publicly declare of his nation's nuclear production facilities, weapons and nuclear-capable missiles.

Trump offered a contrast between the relationship between the US and North Korea under Obama and under his own leadership, "Under the Obama administration they were launching missiles, they were testing".

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center Andrew Kim - both of whom attended working-level talks with DPRK officials at Panmunjom last weekend - are expected to join the team in Pyongyang separately.

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