Jan. 18 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold a second round of talks on denuclearization in February, the White House announced Friday.
The announcement came at the conclusion of Trump’s meeting with North Korean negotiator Kim Yong Chol. The negotiator also spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C.
“President Donald J. Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date.”
Neither Pompeo nor U.S. special representative on North Korea Steve Biegun told reporters about the meeting’s outcome at a hotel in Washington’s Dupont Circle, but Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol left for the White House afterward, where the negotiator met with Trump, Sanders said.
Kim Yong Chol, who delivered a large envelope to Trump from leader Kim Jong Un in 2018, was expected to present a similar letter to the U.S. president.
Trump previously praised the North Korean dictator’s letters, calling the messages “very special.”
“With North Korea, we have a very good dialogue … I’m going to not go any further than that. I’m just going to say it’s very special. And anybody else but me, you’d be in war right now,” the president said this month.
The Pompeo-Kim meeting lasted less than an hour on Friday, The Washington Post reported. Biegun, who is expected to take part in negotiations in Stockholm over the weekend, was also in the room, according to reporter John Hudson.
The United States has repeatedly asked North Korea to provide a list pertaining to its nuclear arsenal; Pyongyang has stalled and has pressed Washington for sanctions relief instead.
All officials stayed tight-lipped following the Dupont Circle meeting.
“Biegun did not respond to a yelled question of whether he had weekend travel plans,” Hudson tweeted Friday.
A U.S. State Department deputy spokesman later said Pompeo and Biegun had a “good discussion” with Kim Yong Chol.
South Korean new service News 1 reported Biegun is to negotiate with North Korean diplomat Choi Sun Hee in Sweden. The meetings could involve top Swedish diplomats.