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'No talks on United States troops in S.Korea at Trump-Kim summit'

Mikhail Dzhaparidze  TASS

Still, Pompeo cited "real progress" in rescheduling a summit meeting between Kim and Trump that was set for June 12 in Singapore, before the USA president canceled it last week.

The White House visit - the first by a North Korean official in almost two decades - follows two days of meetings in NY between Kim Yong Chol and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

As Lavrov was visiting Pyongyang, one of Kim's top lieutenants, former intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, was in NY to discuss with USA officials the agenda for the Trump summit.

Kim Yong Chol is the regime's former spy chief and reportedly behind some of its most malicious behavior, including assassination attempts in South Korea, the sinking of a South Korean navy ship and the Sony hack.

The first head of state to meet Kim Jong-un in the North Korean capital Pyongyang could be Syria's Bashar al-Assad, after North Korean state media announced a visit on Sunday.

Trump said the meetings between Pompeo and Kim have gone "very well" and he expects the North Korean delegation to travel to Washington Friday to deliver him a letter from the leader. "I told them today, take your time, we can go fast, we can go slowly".

Trump had abruptly canceled the planned summit with Kim last week, citing anger and hostility from North Korea.

"I look forward to seeing what's in the letter", he said.

Pompeo spoke to reporters in NY after meeting Thursday with Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief.

He told the agency that a letter delivered by Kim's sister to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in February was contained a large blue folder emblazoned with a golden seal, and speculated that the envelope to Trump could contain a similar folder. "The process will begin on June 12 in Singapore".

The State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official have concluded their meetings in NY, wrapping up the high-stakes diplomatic negotiation almost two hours earlier than expected. Gallucci added that it would be good for the US delegation to have agreed on "follow-on steps" for what will be implemented in order to reach a deal on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. You see the relationship.

"I may be in for a surprise, folks", he said. They were placed on the country because of its nuclear program. "Hopefully we will have a meeting on the (June) 12th", Mr Trump said, adding there may be multiple meetings but "maybe we'll have none".

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the worldwide legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

Previous attempts at nuclear diplomacy with the North by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush fell apart.

"In a tweet, Pompeo said he made "good progress" in his talks, and "#NorthKorea and the world would benefit greatly from the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".