Trump receives ‘nice letter’ from Kim Jong Un despite growing rift
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Trump receives ‘nice letter’ from Kim Jong Un despite growing rift

US President Donald Trump said he received a “nice letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un following the return of the remains of American war troops and amid the North’s pledge to abandon nuclear weapons.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to acknowledge Kim for delivering his promise to allow the remains to be repatriated.

“Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen!” Trump Tweeted.

“I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter – l look forward to seeing you soon!” he added.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump responded with a note that should be sent soon.

“He did receive a letter,” Sanders told a White House briefing, according to Reuters.

“There is not a second meeting that is currently locked in or finalized. (We’re) certainly open to that discussion, but there isn’t a meeting planned.”

SEE ALSO: Self-reliance & belt-tightening: North Korea braces for hardship as talks falter 

“We have responded to Chairman Kim’s letter – the president has – and that letter will be delivered shortly,” Sanders told reporters.

However, Sanders did not elaborate on the contents of the letter, but said the notes “addressed their commitment from their joint statement … that was made at the Singapore summit.”

“They’re going to continue working together towards complete and total denuclearization,” Sanders added.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets participants of the 5th National Conference of War Veterans in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 27, 2018. Source: KCNA via Reuters

In June, the two leaders held a summit in Singapore where North Korea pledged to stop its nuclear weapons programme, but the North has made little progress on the matter.

Apart from conveying Trump’s commitment to Southeast Asia, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo is in the region this week to push for countries to continue imposing sanctions against North Korea during meetings with several Asean counterparts.

SEE ALSO: Why is US State Secretary Pompeo coming to Southeast Asia? 

“When it comes to North Korea and sanctions, it’s more than an ask; it’s a reminder of obligations,” a senior State Department official said in a statement.

“All of the countries participating in these multilateral meetings are also members of the United Nations and are obligated to implement all UN Security Council resolutions.”

The official said the US has concerns about North Korea bypassing some of those sanctions and not adhering to its own obligations.

“So the Secretary will use these opportunities to remind all of that obligation to stick to the sanctions as a means to get to the ultimate objective, the fully verified, finally fully verified, denuclearization of North Korea,” he said.