Trump, North Korean leader to hold 2nd summit

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WASHINGTON | President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to attempt to broker a deal to coax the North to relinquish its nuclear program, the White House announced Friday.

From left, Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, arrive to pose for photographs at the The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

News of a second meeting with the enigmatic North Korean leader came after Trump met at the White House for 90 minutes with a North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, who had traveled to Washington to discuss denuclearization. Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet near the end of February at a place to be announced at a later day, said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

She called the Oval Office meeting “productive” and said the U.S. and North Korea would continue to hold discussions with hopes that North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons capabilities.

“The United States is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization,” Sanders said “We’ve had very good steps and good faith from the North Koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves. And so we’re going to continue those conversations and the president looks forward to the next meeting.”

In May, North Korea released three American detainees and sent them home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his 90-minute meeting with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang. Weeks later, Trump had his first, historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore, but little tangible progress has been made on a vague denuclearization agreement crafted at that summit. No details have been released about how denuclearization could occur.

The North Korean emissary met earlier with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Washington hotel and they were reconvening after the White House meeting.

Trump has spoken several times of having a second summit early this year and has exchanged multiple letters with Kim.

Since the first one, several private analysts have published reports detailing continuing North Korean development of nuclear and missile technology. A planned meeting between Pompeo and the envoy, who is North Korea’s former spy chief, in New York last November was called off abruptly. U.S. officials said at the time that North Korea had canceled the session.