U.S. President Donald Trump said talks with North Korea in NY have been very positive and he is expecting the delegation from Pyongyang to travel to Washington on Friday to deliver a letter to him from leader Kim Jong Un.
"Any discussion about the number of U.S. troops in the Republic of Korea is subject to the Republic of Korea's invitation to have them there, and the discussions between the United States and the Republic of Korea, separate and distinct from the negotiations that are going on with DPRK", said Mr Mattis during a question-and-answer segment. Seoul is keen to declare a formal end to the war, and if it is on the table at the upcoming talks there is also the possibility South Korean President Moon Jae-in could attend.
"Historically it's very important, but we'll see".
Rexon Ryu, former White House official who dealt with the North Korea nuclear issue, said the North Korean side in particular has an interest in keeping those discussions quiet. Though North Korea has still offered no public commitment to denuclearization, Mr. Trump dropped his vow to apply "maximum pressure" to the regime, saying, "I don't want to use that term because we are getting along".
Plans for the high-stakes sit-down in Singapore had been cast into doubt. The North lashed out at the US last month and threatened to withdraw from the June 12 summit if Trump insisted on "unilateral nuclear abandonment".
Why was Trump's Oval Office meeting with North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol longer than anticipated? Both are regarded as hawks on North Korea and had attracted Pyongyong's ire after suggesting Washington was seeking to impose the "Libyan model" of denuclearization on the hermit nation.
"It's very unknown territory right now, because Kim Jong Un is fierce", Kim said. We did discuss that, the ending of the Korean War.
Mr Trump made the announcement after talks with a senior North Korean envoy at the White House.
Trump told reporters he hadn't yet read the letter from the North Korean leader and added with a smile, "I may be in for a big surprise, folks".
"I want it to be meaningful", he said.
Kim Yong Chol left his hotel in New York City early Friday for the trip to Washington in a convoy of SUVs.
Speaking outside the White House, Donald Trump also said hundreds of new sanctions are ready to go on North Korea, but he would hold off.
Still, he refused to say whether the North agreed to the United States demand for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. The transaction would require the Office of Foreign Assets Control to "temporarily suspend the applicability of sanctions" through a waiver, she said. I don't think it'll be a deal-breaker as long as the US demands that that issue has to be resolved, or at least has to be dealt with seriously, between the two sides at the summit.