Russian Federation gifts North Korea's Kim Jong-un a ‘box for secrets’

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Pyongyang on Thursday, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the state of talks with South Korea - and inviting Kim to visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted after Trump announced the cancellation of the meeting. He had announced just last week that he was canceling the meeting.

Capping off two days of high profile meetings with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says "real progress" has been made toward a deal that would allow for a summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.

Trump's announcement comes after top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol visited the White House Friday to deliver the letter.

If the North Korean delegation goes to the White House, it would be the first visit there by high-level officials from there since 2000 when Jo Myong Rok, a marshal, met President Bill Clinton. He spoke to reporters in Washington before boarding Air Force One on his way to Texas.

Mr. Trump said he thinks Kim Jong Un is committed to denuclearization.

What the North Koreans want is security, the official said, referencing the regime's long-held belief that nuclear weapons shield the country from a hostile United States.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too early to know whether there would be a Putin-Kim meeting in Russian Federation. On the eve of that meeting, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova was asked about the Kremlin's push to be included in wider talks on the two Koreas. By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea.

President Trump has spoken of the possibility of winning a Nobel Peace Prize for his negotiations with the North Koreans, and the delivery of the letter moves him closer to the summit and the talks.

Kim's right hand man General Kim Yong Chol flew into NY on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the assembly.

The envoy from Pyongyang hand-delivered a letter to Trump from the North Korean leader, after a day of talks in NY with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

His travel restrictions were lifted this week so he could fly to NY and Washington, DC to meet U.S. officials, the Department of State said.

"Trump's cancellation letter, which he made public and issued to Kim Jong-un last Friday, was well-crafted to show that even the strong and powerful U.S. was really bothered by the strong words coming from Pyongyang", McGregor pointed out.

His meeting with Pompeo is expected to determine whether the two sides have enough common ground to go ahead with the summit on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for concessions. A senior State Department official told reporters on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) that for a summit to talk place, North Korea will have to make clear "what they're willing to do" in terms of commitments and action.

The meetings are working toward a planned denuclearisation summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim - an event hailed as a pivotal shift in tensions following North Korean nuclear tests past year.

He is the vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

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