THE courtship between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to be going strong, with the president revealing he received a “very nice note” from the dictator.
Mr Trump tweeted a copy of the letter, dated 6 July, the day that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Pyongyang.
“Great progress being made!” he said.
The note from Kim comes after Mr Trump reportedly sent a special gift over for Kim with Mr Pompeo — a copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”. The gift was in-joke between the two, in reference to Mr Trump’s “Little Rocket Man” gibe of last year.
Mr Trump supposedly asked Kim in their historic June meeting in Singapore if he knew the song, but Kim didn’t. The president also reportedly wrote a message on the CD and signed it.
In Kim’s letter, he describes the June 12 summit, and the resulting joint statement agreed by both sides, as the “start of a meaningful journey”.
“I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the US will sure surely come to fruition,” he wrote.
“I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement.”
But the North Korean leader called on his counterpart to take “practical actions” to build trust.
“The invariable trust and confidence in Your Excellency Mr President will be further strengthened in the future process of taking practical actions,” he said.
Mr Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang for two days last week in a bid to flesh out denuclearisation commitments made during the historic summit between Mr Trump and Kim.
North Korea has long trumpeted a denuclearisation goal, but one that it sees as a lengthy process of undefined multilateral disarmament on the entire Korean peninsula, rather than a unilateral dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal.
Speaking afterwards in Tokyo, Mr Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in “good faith”.
But in stark contrast, Pyongyang’s take was overwhelmingly negative, with the North warning that the future of the peace process was being jeopardised by overbearing US demands for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.
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Donald Trump receives ‘very nice’ letter from Kim Jong-un