WASHINGTON — A senior North Korean official will hand over a letter from the country’s leader Kim Jong Un to US President Donald Trump in a rare visit to the White House on Friday as the two sides try to put a derailed summit meeting back on track.
Trump hopes to meet Kim in Singapore on June 12 and pressure him to give up his nuclear weapons, although he conceded on Thursday that might require more rounds of direct negotiations.
“I’d like to see it done in one meeting,” Trump told Reuters. “But often times that’s not the way deals work. There’s a very good chance that it won’t be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings. But it’ll get done at some point.”
Leading the delegation to the White House on Friday is Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim Jong Un.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said late on Thursday that the details of the meeting were still being worked out. It was not clear whether Trump would receive Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office.
It was also not clear what North Korea’s leader wrote in his letter to Trump, although it was seen as raising hopes that the summit meeting might be back on.
After trading threats of war last year, the two men agreed to meet for an historic summit on June 12. But Trump canceled last week, citing Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a string of public statements.
Even as he pulled out, though, Trump urged Kim to ‘call me or write’ if he wanted to revive the meeting.
Within a day, both sides were in new talks to save the summit, and Kim Yong Chol flew to New York this week to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Despite saying the two sides made ‘real progress’, Pompeo also cautioned that there might be no quick solution.
“They’ll have to choose a path that is fundamentally different than the one that their country has proceeded on for decades. It should not be to anyone’s surprise that there will be moments along the way, that this won’t be straightforward,” he said.Follow @gorkhapost
19 killed in Islamist militant attack on Nigerian village
MAIDUGURI— At least 19 people have been killed in an Islamist militant attack on a village in northeast Nigeria, a survivor of the attack said.
The militants attacked the village of Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno state at around 2 am Sunday, according to the survivor, Abatcha Umar.
The strike is the latest blow to Nigeria’s efforts to defeat insurgencies by the Nigerian Islamist Boko Haram group and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
Umar said he had counted 19 people killed. However,an aid worker at a camp that received the survivors, and who declined to be identified, put the death toll at 63.
The Islamist militants had been spotted around the village three days before their attack, said Umar. Locals had warned Nigerian troops stationed in the nearby town of Gudumbali, but no action was taken, he said.
In recent months, the military has suffered its heaviest defeats in years, commanders have been repeatedly replaced, and special forces soldiers have mutinied.Follow @gorkhapost