Trump tweets friendly letter from Kim Jong Un

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  July 12, 2018 at 1:30 PM
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July 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a letter that appeared to be signed by North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, as skepticism grows over North Korea's willingness to denuclearize on U.S. terms.

In his tweet Thursday afternoon, the president suggested the letter was a sign trust is developing between him and Kim, after their historic summit on June 12.

"A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made!" Trump tweeted, including screenshots of the letter in his message and a translation of the original letter written in Korean.

The letter, dated July 6, included Kim's signature, and was written before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea for his most recent talks with officials.

Pompeo was not granted an audience with Kim, and North Korea criticized U.S. demands following the visit.

In the letter, Kim said the summit was the "start of a meaningful journey."

"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," Kim wrote.

"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 U.S. will surely come to fruition."

Kim also suggested he looked forward to his next summit with Trump in the letter.

Trump is making the letter public at a time when his North Korea claims are coming under question.

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., has asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats whether the statements from Trump match North Korea progress, CBS News reported.

Trump has said there is "trust" with Kim and has previously stated there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.

But North Korea has yet to comply with demands for full denuclearization or to decommission a missile engine test site, says former negotiator Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Donald Trump often complains about Fake News in the U.S. media. The Fake News here unfortunately are the Tweets by the president that he ended the nuclear threat from North Korea," Cha said in an editorial in Kyodo News.

"The 'Real News' is that Pyongyang is playing from the same playbook it has used since negotiations I participated in during the six-party talks more than 10 years ago."

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