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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that two days of talks with Kim Yong-chol in NY has contributed "real progress" towards the planned summit, which is expected to be held in Singapore, adding that the US hopes it will lead to the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end to North Korea's nuclear programme. "Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter", Trump initially said.

"It's going to have to be a process, but relationships are building, and that's a very good thing", Trump told reporters. Trump called it a "very nice letter".

"We talked about a lot of things", he said adding that it also included USA sanctions on North Korea.

"It's absolutely obvious that when a conversation starts about solving the nuclear problem and other problems of the Korean Peninsula, we proceed from the fact that the decision can't be complete while sanctions are still in place", he said.

The meetings are working toward a planned denuclearisation summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim - an event hailed as a pivotal shift in tensions following North Korean nuclear tests previous year.

He was greeted at the White House by chief of staff John Kelly and then whisked into the Oval Office. They walked along the Rose Garden to the Oval Office, where Kim was expected to hand over the letter from his leader.

Kim's top adviser and former North Korean spy chief, Kim Yong Chol, delivered the letter himself after a rare diplomatic visit to the United States to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY.

Seoul welcomed Trump's meeting with Kim Yong Chol at the White House.

The meeting follows two landmark summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in the last five weeks.

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Who is Gen Kim Yong-chol?

Kim's visit represented an extraordinary turn of events.

This photo taken on September 6, 2017 shows participants of a mass celebration in Pyongyang for scientists involved in carrying out North Korea's largest nuclear blast to date. Kim needed a special waiver from the State Department to travel to NY and to Washington.

"I look forward to seeing what's in the letter", Trump said on Thursday as he left Joint Base Andrews for a trip to Houston.

The US secretary of state, who spoke with Trump on Wednesday night (Thursday NZT) and with National Security Adviser John Bolton early Thursday (Friday NZT), was accompanied by Andrew Kim, the head of a Central Intelligence Agency unit assigned to work on North Korea, and Mark Lambert, the head of the State Department's Korea desk. Trump wants to use the meeting to pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons. A pair of US delegations have held talks this week with their North Korean counterparts at the Korean demilitarized zone and in Singapore. "We welcome the summits that already took place between Pyongyang and Seoul as well as planned meetings between North Korean and USA leadership". But key gaps remain.

"I'd like to see it done in one meeting", he said.

In his interview with Reuters, the USA president said a nuclear deal with North Korea would have to cover its missile program.

But Trump has expressed optimism that his unorthodox approach could lead to a breakthrough.


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