North Korea's Kim sends 'conciliatory message' to Trump as nuclear weapon negotiations continue to stall

Kim Jong-un had promised Donald Trump that they would work towards denuclearising North Korea, but negotiations haven't advanced in months

Kristin Hugo
New York
Monday 31 December 2018 20:12
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Donald Trump walks with Kim Jong-un during the historic summit in June 2018
Donald Trump walks with Kim Jong-un during the historic summit in June 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a “conciliatory message” to Donald Trump as nuclear weapon talks between the two nations having stalled in recent months.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported the fact the letter has been sent on Monday, but did not include the details of the message or how it was sent. The report said that the message was in regard to US-North Korea relations, and that it was “letter-like.”

On Sunday, the office of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Mr Kim had sent a letter to his counterpart in Seoul saying he wants to hold more inter-Korean summits next year to achieve denuclearisation of the peninsula.

“There is a dialogue channel between North Korea and the United States through which they exchange active communication, but I cannot know whether it took the form of letter or something else,” Mr Moon’s spokesman said of the reported message to Mr Trump.

In June, Mr Kim and Mr Trump held a summit in Singapore, during which Mr Kim promised to work towards getting rid of nuclear weapons in his country. However, little has been achieved since then.

In November, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York City to discuss how to move forward. However, that meeting was suddenly cancelled, and has not yet been rescheduled.

On New Year’s Day, Mr Kim is scheduled to give his annual speech to address his priorities for the year ahead. He is expected to talk about improving relations with South Korea and participating in summits with their neighbour.

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Analysts will be watching carefully for mentions of relations with Washington and denuclearisation.

Reuters reached out to a North Korean official, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, but has not yet received a response.

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