South Korean President Moon Jae In, who met with Kim Jong Un twice in the past two months, has said progress in inter-Korean reconciliation will be a crucial part of global efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea because Pyongyang wouldn't give up its nuclear program unless it feels its security is assured.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with a top North Korean official for the second day on Thursday, resuming talks that began over dinner in NY as the two seek to salvage a June 12 summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Trump has continued to be coy about plans for a summit with Kim after sending a letter to the North Korean leader last week calling off the meeting because of heated rhetoric from the repressive regime.
Speaking after the meeting, Trump said: "We are going to deal and we are really going to start a process".
Trump's meeting with Kim Yong Chol and other North Korean officials lasted around an hour and 20 minutes.
North Korea has developed nuclear devices as well as missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland heightening the risks for Washington. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign ratcheting up sanctions and pressure to push North Korea to the negotiating table resonates with them. "We will see what we will see, but I think it's going to be a process that we deserve to have", Trump said.
Trump said countries in the region - Japan and South Korea - were also involved in this.
When they emerged, Trump shook Kim's hand before seeing him off in a black USA government SUV.
Defense ministers from Japan and South Korea offered very different views of the North Korean leader at an worldwide security conference in Singapore. "You know that better than anybody". We can go fast.
"While that may work, my great fear is that North Korea will do what it has always done: Pocket the concessions and economic aid and never give up its nuclear weapons", Kazianis said.
Kim Yong-chol is a close aide of Kim Jong-un and is vice chairman of the ruling Workers Party's central committee.
KELLY: All right, so before we get to the summit in Singapore which is now back on again, get to this meeting in the White House today, which was quite something in its own right.
The two men left a 90-minute private dinner at a NY apartment on Wednesday night without providing details about their conversation. "They have to denuclearize". I think we're going to have a relationship, and it'll start on June 12. After spending months trading insults and war threats with him, has Kim learned that the way to influence Trump is to appeal to his ego - something South Korean President Moon Jae-in seemed to try in April when he openly endorsed Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize?
North Korea has denied any interest in USA economic assistance, only in ending worldwide sanctions - and on Thursday, the real challenge of negotiating differences begins with a full day of meetings between the two delegations.
"I want it to be meaningful", Trump said. And I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn't have it. "We talked about sanctions", Trump added.
"As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of USA hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward", Kim told Sergey Lavrov.
This time around, USA and North Korean leaders will meet face-to-face for the first time.
"The people of #NorthKorea can have a brighter future and the world can be more peaceful". The president shook hands and posed for pictures outside the White House with members of the North Korean delegation.
He would not say that the summit is a definite go for Singapore on June 12, and could not say if that decision would be made after Trump reads Kim Jong Un's letter.
Following a provocative 2017 in which his engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and long-range missiles that could target American cities, Kim has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months in what's seen as an attempt to break out of isolation and obtain relief from sanctions decimating his country's economy. Can you believe that we're talking about the ending of the Korean War?