North Koreans to deliver letter to Trump

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, On Rare Visit To North Korea, Invites Kim To Russia

A top aide to Kim Jong Un is expected to hand a letter from the North Korean leader to President Trump in Washington Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after reporting "good progress" in talks between the two sides to revive an on-again, off-again nuclear summit.

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said that the worldwide community should not question Kim Jong Un's motives, as it could hinder progress in bringing about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Pence echoed national security adviser John Bolton, who compared Washington's approach to North Korea to the USA strategy toward Libya, which forfeited its weapons of mass destruction program in 2003, only to be rocked by a 2011 rebellion backed by the US -led NATO Western military alliance.

Despite recently envisioning Nobel laurels, Trump worked on Friday to lower expectations for a quick breakthrough.

While admitting that dealing with North Korea was "going to be a process", Trump said he believed that process would ultimately be "successful". He spoke from the South Lawn of the White House after seeing off a senior Kim deputy who spent more than an hour with him in the Oval Office.

"I never said it goes in one meeting".

Seoul welcomed Trump's meeting with Kim Yong Chol at the White House. "I think they want to do that, I know they want to do that", he said, adding that a process like this would likely take more than one meeting.

Song Young-moo said: "Just because we have been tricked by North Korea in the past doesn't guarantee that we will be tricked in the future".

"I don't even want to use the term "maximum pressure" anymore", Trump added, referencing his preferred term for the punishing USA economic sanctions against North Korea.

Any payment for North Korean's accommodations would run afoul of Treasury Department sanctions, said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former Treasury official. The official, Kim Yong Chol, posed for photos with Trump outside the Oval Office, and they talked amiably at Kim's auto before he was driven away.

Trump told reporters he hadn't yet read the letter from the North Korean leader and added with a smile, "I may be in for a big surprise, folks".

When asked if he could offer a "flavor of what the letter said", Trump said: "It was a very interesting letter".

Trump says his June 12 meeting will be "a beginning".

"Our secretary of state is having very good meetings", Mr. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before departing on a trip to Texas. White House officials cast the roller-coaster public statements as reflective of efforts by each leader to test the resolve of the other.

Mr. 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". North Korea's conciliatory response to that letter appears to have put the summit back on track.

Within days, three teams of officials in the U.S., Singapore and the Korean demilitarized zone began meeting on preparations for the summit.

The video, allegedly shot in April, depicts North Korean leader Kim Jong-un silently overlooking the ocean with 2 streams of tears falling down his face.

Questions remain about what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons would look like.

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