BEIJING — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of recent talks between his country’s delegation and U.S. officials, state media reported Thursday.
Kim received a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and instructed his staff to step up preparations for a second summit between Washington and Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The United States and North Korea made an agreement last week that Trump and Kim will hold their next summit “near the end of February” at a location to be announced at a later date. Vietnam has been floated as the most likely summit venue.
Kim spoke highly of Trump for “expressing his unusual determination and will” to settle issues in the run-up to their possible second summit, KCNA said.
He added that “we will believe in the positive way of thinking of President Trump, wait with patience and in good faith and, together with the U.S., advance step by step toward the goal to be reached by the two countries,” it said.
But the news agency did not elaborate what Kim said about nuclear issues.
Late last week, Kim Yong Chol, a close aide to Kim Jong Un, visited Washington and held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative to North Korea, and Trump.
At their historic first summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018, Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed that Washington would provide security guarantees to Pyongyang in return for “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.
Negotiations between the United States and North Korea, however, have shown little sign of moving forward against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s skepticism about Pyongyang’s intention to give up nuclear weapons.
Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be eager to end hostilities with the United States, has recently reiterated his willingness to hold talks with Trump again, while warning that North Korea may seek a “new path” if U.S. pressure on it continues.
Washington and Pyongyang have no diplomatic relations and remain technically at war as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.
In the war, U.S.-led multinational forces fought alongside South Korea against the North, backed by China and the Soviet Union. Hostilities ceased with an armistice agreement signed in July 1953 by the U.N. Command, North Korea’s military and Chinese armed forces.