Kim Jong Un says North's will for denuclearization 'unchanged'

Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

He added, "I look forward to seeing what's in the letter". "But oftentimes that's not the way deals work".

The White House visit follows two days of meetings in NY between Kim Yong Chol and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "But it'll get done at some point".

"We are looking for something historic", a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters in NY about a Kim-Trump summit after the dinner meeting, "something that has never done before".

"It's much more about personal relations, because I know how much value [the North Koreans] put into this", said Mickey Bergman, a veteran negotiator with North Koreans and vice president of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing the release of political prisoners around the world.

Until this year, Kim had made no visits outside his country since taking over from his father as leader in 2011. "We discussed our priorities for the potential summit between our leaders".

The two also clinked glasses full of whiskey, as a photo shared on Pompeo's official Twitter account showed, which Kim Yong Chol no doubt appreciated as he has been described as a "heavy drinker" by one of the South Korean musicians who performed in Pyongyang in April.

A senior North Korean official and the top United States diplomat had dinner in NY on Wednesday as President Trump and Kim Jong-un try to salvage prospects for a high-stakes nuclear summit.

In 2000, Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington and met US President Bill Clinton at the White House amid warming ties between the 1950s wartime foes.

Trump has sworn not to allow it to develop nuclear missiles that could hit the United States.

Washington is demanding complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, or CVID, from North Korea, and Pyongyang in turn is expecting some concrete guarantees for the security of the Kim Jong-un regime. However, his comments were the most positive from any US official since Trump abruptly cancelled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North.

That in the past has also meant removal of the United States nuclear umbrella protecting South Korea and Japan.

President Donald Trump's administration is in diplomatic overdrive with three separate negotiations playing out around the U.S. and Asia - but he still appears to have little idea what's going on with an on-again, off-again summit with North Korea. But in March, the bellicose rhetoric gave way to a proposal for a historic summit.

North Korea's mission to the United Nations in NY is its sole diplomatic presence in the United States. "There can be no immediate denuclearisation, this should be done step by step and all sides should go half-way during every single phase of this process".

In 2010, the Obama administration placed Kim Yong Chol on a blacklist as chief of North Korea's premier intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and its role in the export of arms and military equipment.

He was greeted at the White House by chief of staff John Kelly before he was escorted to the Oval Office.

South Korea has accused him of masterminding deadly attacks on a South Korean warship and an island in 2010, and U.S. intelligence linked him to a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014.

North Korea denied any involvement in both attacks. The senior North Korean's visit marks the highest-level official visit to the United States in 18 years.

"There's a long history where North Korea has viewed its nuclear programme as providing security", he said.

'It is absolutely obvious that, as we start discussions on how to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula, it is understood that the solution can not be comprehensive without the lifting of sanctions, ' Lavrov said in a press conference.

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