Japan urges caution on any North Korea agreement


Trump received Kim Yong Chol, a former North Korean spy chief who's been involved in decades of nuclear talks, in the Oval Office. The two men posed with the very large envelope in the Oval Office.

The North Korean envoy hand-delivered a letter to Trump from the North Korean leader, after a day of talks in NY with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Historically it's very important, but we'll see".

The peace talks are set for The Fullerton Hotel Singapore on June 12.

"These talks go to the question of security and if anything that's probably most immediately paramount to Kim", he said. But minutes earlier he had described the note as "a very interesting letter", and teased journalists about revealing its contents.

So that could usher in a plan to have the host nation of Singapore pay for Kim's entourage, ensuring that Pyongyang doesn't have to max out its low-limit credit card or suffer the indignity of Uncle Sam picking up the bill. But a flurry of diplomacy across two continents got the meeting back on track, and Trump announced Friday that he would attend as initially planned.

Three teams of officials in the U.S., Singapore, and the Korean demilitarized zone have been meeting this week on preparations for the summit.

After North Korean officials delivered a series of bellicose statements last month, Trump announced he was withdrawing from the summit with a strongly worded letter.

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After weeks of uncertainty, President Donald Trump called off the summit last week, blaming "open hostility" from North Korea. By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea.

The prospect for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula could hinge on who picks up the tab for Kim Jong Un's hotel.

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol shakes hands with President Donald Trump as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on, after a meeting at the White House, on June 1.

"They want it", Trump said Friday. But there are lingering doubts on whether he will ever fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival in a region surrounded by enemies.

USA defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental US with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other USA officials have said they would not tolerate.

When it comes to paying for lodging at North Korea's preferred 5-star luxury hotel, the United States is open to covering the costs, the two people said, but it's mindful that Pyongyang may view a USA payment as insulting.

U.S. officials with knowledge of the letter's contents said it did not make any noteworthy threats or concessions, and was seen as a positive step, according to multiple news reports.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (not pictured) during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in this handout picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), on May 27.