Trump to meet N.Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol - White House

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State Department spokesman Robert Palladino called talks that Kim Yong Chol had before and after the White House visit with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo "good".

Weeks later, Trump had his first, historic meeting with Mr Kim.

"With North Korea, we have a very good dialogue ..."

"We've continued to make progress", Sanders told reporters after the White House meeting.

Mr. Kim Yong Chol, regarded as a member of Kim Jong Un's inner circle, also had talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US special representative on North Korea, Stephen Biegun. "We'll set that up, we'll be setting that up in the not-too-distant future", Trump told reporters at the Whited House on January 2.

Speculation is mounting that a second meeting could be held in Vietnam.

Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert and director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, welcomed the announcement as a positive development considering the threats of war just over a year ago.

A spokesman for South Korea's presidential office said the second meeting between the United States and North Korea could be a "turning point to lay the firm foundation for lasting peace on the Korean peninsula".

On Friday, Pompeo met with the North Korean envoy at a Washington hotel before the White House meeting, and the two had lunch together afterward. The development comes as US and North Korean leaders are looking to set up their second summit to defuse an worldwide standoff over the North's nuclear program.

The announcement came amid a diplomatic flurry in Washington surrounding the visit of Kim Yong-chol, a hardline former spy chief, and marked a rare sign of movement in a denuclearisation effort that has stalled since a landmark meeting between Mr Trump and the North Korean leader in Singapore previous year.

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The State Department stopped just short of saying that meeting will take place, saying on Friday night that Biegun will attend an worldwide conference in Sweden this weekend.

Opinions in Seoul about the likelihood of the summit yielding progress tend to be split along predictable conservative and liberal lines, the former much more cynical about Kim Jong Un's real intentions than the latter. She said that the administration would "keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization". What the two leaders actually hope to achieve remains a mystery.

In August 2018, Trump warned against North Korea making threats against the US.

Trump said he was looking forward to the talks.

Kim's latest trip to China, his fourth since past year, came as the North's strongest ally has encouraged negotiations with the US while at the same time arguing in favour of immediate easing of sanctions.

Talks have floundered over United States demand for a list of North Korean sites associated with its nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes, which Pyongyang has found problematic to hand over.

Friday's decision to go straight to a second summit, rather than complete any medium-range goals or preparation work, reflected what some outside analysts have seen as the flawed nature of Trump's approach to talks, which focuses on high-profile show over the non-glamorous work of hashing out substantive details and agreements.

In 2017, North Korea accused the CIA and its South Korea affiliate, the Intelligence Service (IS), of planning a similar biochemical weapon attack against its "supreme leadership", although no concrete evidence was ever provided for such a claim.

Kim expressed frustration in an annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations.

Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative for North Korea, arrived in Stockholm on Saturday afternoon for four days of talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui at a remote facility outside Sweden's capital.

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