“Kim Jong-un said that we will believe in President Trump’s positive way of thinking, wait with patience and in good faith and, together with the US, advance step by step toward the goal to be reached by the two countries,” North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report on Thursday, without saying when Kim made the remarks, Presstv Reported.
It added that Kim also expressed great “satisfaction” at receiving a “great” letter from the US president and a briefing regarding the results of the talks held between a North Korean delegation — led by Kim’s right-hand man, Kim Yong-chol — and American officials — headed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — in Washington last week, without giving further details.
Reports at the time said that the two sides were expected to finalize the date and location of a second summit between President Trump and leader Kim. They also said that Kim Yong-chol was likely to meet the American president as well during his two-day trip to the US capital.
The White House said last week that a second Kim-Trump summit would be held in late February but did not say where. According to unconfirmed reports, Vietnam is the likely venue for the summit.
Kim’s praise of Trump came weeks after he warned that Pyongyang would take “a new path” if the US continued sanctions and diplomatic pressure on his country.
The American president has already said there is “no rush” and “no time limit” on denuclearization talks. However, Pompeo has given varying statements about the degree of the White House’s patience.
Multilateral diplomacy led to the first summit between Trump and Kim in July last year, which was held in Singapore. There, Trump and Kim broadly agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But diplomacy has been sluggish since then.
The White House insists that harsh UN and US sanctions must remain in place until Pyongyang completely abandons its nuclear program, while Kim wants them immediately lifted.
Pyongyang has already taken several unilateral steps toward denuclearization, including suspending missile and nuclear testing, demolishing at least one nuclear test site, and agreeing to allow international inspectors into a missile engine test facility and another nuclear testing site.
Earlier this month, the North’s leader said that he wanted to “achieve results” on the nuclear standoff on the peninsula in his second summit with Trump, stressing that his country would “make efforts for the second summit between DPRK (North Korea) and US leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community.”