Pence: US won't be sidelined in N. Korea negotiations

Howard TerryJul 14, 2018

President Trump tweeted out the note, dated July 6, on Thursday.

According to senior US officials, leader Kim Jong Un made the agreement with President Trump during their summit last month.

In it, Mr Kim says: "I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President".

President Donald Trump shared what he described as a "very nice note" from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un Thursday.

The letter made no mention of North Korea's plans to denuclearize.

The letter's date corresponds to the day before the North Korean Foreign Ministry said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's position during just-completed talks in Pyongyang was "regrettable", Efe reported.

Pompeo had been in Pyongyang over the weekend for ongoing working-level talks with Kim Yong Chol, the Vice Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee.

While in Brussels for the annual NATO summit on Thursday, both Trump and Pompeo expressed confidence in the diplomatic process with North Korea despite lacking of tangible signs of progress.

Pyongyang has consistently demanded a more gradual process based on developing mutual trust.

Separately, the U.S. has accused North Korea of violating a United Nations sanctions cap on refined oil products.

North Korean negotiators failed to show up for scheduled talks with the U.S.at Panmunjeom, Thursday, on repatriating the remains of USA soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, indicating a possible rift between the two countries in ongoing denuclearization talks.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US will be ready.

In Washington, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said the negotiations with North Korea have been a "flop" so far.

A source with knowledge of the discussions between Pompeo and North Korea said the feeling at the White House was the trip went "as badly as it could have gone".

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program.

There also appears to be some additional uncertainty surrounding the return of USA service members missing from the Korean conflict's remains, a promise that the Trump administration had touted following the Singapore summit. The transfer of remains between North Korea and the United States has not taken place since 2005.

That meeting concluded with North Korean state media calling the U.S. approach "cancerous" and "gangster-like". Pyongyang has asked the UN Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said. But the agreement was terribly vague, and Trump ended up jettisoning a huge bargaining chip by voluntarily announcing an end to joint military exercises with South Korea, which always terrify North Korea.

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