Pompeo says hopes Trump letter to North Korean leader can restart talks

By Jeff Mason and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.

Reuters June 24, 2019 01:06:11 IST
Pompeo says hopes Trump letter to North Korean leader can restart talks

Pompeo says hopes Trump letter to North Korean leader can restart talks

By Jeff Mason and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that he hopes a letter sent by President Donald Trump to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can pave the way for new talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program.

Pompeo, who confirmed Trump's letter to Kim before departing Washington on a trip to the Middle East, said that the United States was ready to resume talks with North Korea immediately.

"I'm hopeful that this will provide a good foundation for us to begin ... these important discussions with the North Koreans," Pompeo told reporters at Joint Base Andrews.

Earlier North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA said Kim had described the letter as being "of excellent content" but did not disclose any details about Trump's message.

The KCNA report said Kim "would seriously contemplate the interesting content."

U.S.-North Korea talks stalled after a failed summit in February between Trump and the North Korean leader in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A U.S. official said on Wednesday the United States had no pre-conditions for new talks, but that progress would require meaningful and verifiable North Korean steps to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Pompeo did not discuss the contents of Trump's letter, but said the United States has been working to lay foundations for discussions since the Hanoi summit abruptly ended by Trump. He added: "I think we're in a better place."

Asked if working-level discussions between the countries would begin soon, Pompeo said: "I think the remarks you saw out of North Korea this morning suggest that may well be a very good possibility. We're ready to go, we're literally prepared to go at a moment's notice if the North Koreans indicate that they're prepared for those discussions."

Trump leaves for Asia later this week for the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in Seoul.

Pompeo also will join Trump at the G20 summit and accompany the president to Seoul, but said he will first travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to consult with the U.S. allies on growing tensions with Iran.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and David Lawder; Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.