According to a new US intelligence assessment, while the North Korean leader is no longer willing to give up his nuclear weapons, he said he may open a "Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a show of goodwill", NBC reports.
A senior North Korean official made a rare visit to the United States on Wednesday for talks about a possible summit between the leaders of the two countries but the sides appeared far apart on the central issue of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons. The North's only diplomatic outpost in the U.S.is its United Nations mission in NY. Associated Press journalists saw the plane taxi down the tarmac before the North's delegation disembarked at JFK International Airport.
Separately on Wednesday at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Admiral Harry Harris, the outgoing head of U.S. Pacific Command who is Trump's pick to be the ambassador to South Korea, said North Korea remained the United States' most imminent threat.
President Trump cancelled the proposed summit in a letter, blaming "tremendous anger and open hostility" from North Korea. But there are lingering doubts on whether Kim will ever fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival. Trump tweeted on Monday. That was a shift from last week, when Trump announced in an open letter to Kim Jong Un that he had chose to "terminate" the summit following a provocative statement from the North.
The 72-year-old is known as one of the most powerful people within North Korea. That suggests Kim might have chosen to first go to NY because it would make it easier for him to communicate with officials in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.
Trump has sworn not to allow North Korea to develop nuclear missiles that could hit the United States and wants North Korea to "denuclearize", or get rid of its nuclear arms.
The country had strongly objected to statements by Trump administration members comparing North Korean denuclearisation to Libya's.
He helped coordinate Pompeo's two meetings in Pyongyang with the Korean leader in April and earlier this month. Trump's letter, the aides said, was created to pressure the North on the worldwide stage for appearing to have cold feet. -North Korea summit, the White House said.
"We're going to continue to shoot for the June 12th and expect to do that", she said, referring to the original date scheduled for the summit. Pompeo has been an advocate for a Trump-Kim meeting, convinced after his two encounters with the North Korean leader that the regime was genuinely ready to consider dismantling its nuclear program. The previous top ranking envoy was Jo Myong-rok, a vice marshal, sent to Washington DC in 2000.