A top aide to Kim Jong Un will make a rare visit to Washington Friday to hand a letter from the North Korean leader to President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after reporting "good progress" in talks between the two sides to revive an on-again, off-again nuclear summit. "I am confident we are moving in the right direction," Pompeo told reporters at a news conference in New York after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol. "Our two countries face a pivotal moment in our relationship, and it would be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste." 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.
However, his comments were the most positive from any US official since Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North. Early Thursday, Trump told reporters "we are doing very well" with North Korea. He added there may even need to be a second or third summit meeting to reach a deal on North Korean denuclearization but still hedged, saying "maybe we'll have none." Kim Yong Chol is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the US in 18 years, and his trip to the White House will be a highly symbolic sign of easing tensions after fears of war escalated amid North Korean nuclear and missile tests last year, the AP reports. (Efforts to save the summit are also taking place in Singapore and the DMZ.)