Kim talks: North Korea's Kim Yong-chol arrives at White House

Kim talks: North Korea's Kim Yong-chol arrives at White House

Kim talks: North Korea's Kim Yong-chol arrives at White House

The publication said this approach reflected Trump's reliance on his deal-making expertise and the president's belief he could establish a better rapport with the North's Kim Jong-un if he acted alone. But North Korea flipped on the USA in May, blasting Trump officials and saying it was reconsidering the summit.

But Pompeo suggested things are moving in the right direction. Yet he also said at his news conference that hard work remains including hurdles that may appear to be insurmountable as negotiations progress on the US demand for North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. "And I'm going to be very happy when the day arrives when we can take sanctions off and have a very good relationship with the entire Korean Peninsula", Trump said.

He reiterated that during Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's trip to Pyongyang on May 31 and talks there, the Russian side "publicly expressed support for efforts by Pyongyang and Washington to normalize bilateral relations and hope for the success of a North Korea-US summit".

"Our secretary of state is having very good meetings".

"But I think it'll get done in a very smart, organised fashion and I think that Kim Jong Un wants to see it also".

Despite Trump calling off that meeting with Kim Jong Un a week earlier, officials in the United States, South Korea and North Korea have been scrambling in recent days to salvage the summit.

Kim Yong Chol, considered the right-hand man of leader Kim Jong Un, was the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years.

Last month North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow as Pyongyang moves to improve strained ties with global powers.

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Sanders added that there are other meetings with North Korean officials taking place in Singapore and Korea.

Separately, preparatory meetings between the U.S. and North Korea were held at the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjeom to discuss agenda items for the summit, while a separate team of USA officials met North Koreans to coordinate logistics in Singapore.

"The potential summit... presents DPRK with a great opportunity to achieve security and economic prosperity", Pompeo said on Twitter on Thursday, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Neither Kim nor Pompeo acknowledged questions from reporters as they met in a senior United States diplomat's apartment in the Corinthian, a luxury high-rise condo with a dramatic view over UN headquarters and mid-town Manhattan.

North Korea's Kim Yong Chol, centre, leaves a hotel in NY.

Prospects for the Singapore summit have careened up and down as both sides threatened one another and engaged in diplomatic brinkmanship, with Trump announcing on May 24 that he was pulling out - and then quickly jumping back.

Kim has previously made harsher comments and even threatened to launch nuclear attacks on the United States numerous times.

The North Korean visit to the White House on Friday will be the first since 2000, when President Bill Clinton met senior figure Jo Myong-rok in an unsuccessful attempt to win the reclusive nation's nuclear disarmament. Trump had called it off last week in response to threatening rhetoric from the DPRK.

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