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(2nd LD) Kim expresses 'great satisfaction' after receiving letter from Trump: KCNA

All Headlines 08:58 January 24, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS details throughout)

SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed "great satisfaction" after receiving a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and spoke highly of Trump's "determination and will" to resolve issues between the two countries, state media reported Thursday.

Kim made the remark after top aide Kim Yong-chol briefed him on the results of his visit to Washington last week that included meetings with Trump and other top officials for talks about a second summit between the two countries, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"Upon receiving the good personal letter sent by President Trump, the Supreme Leader expressed great satisfaction. He spoke highly of President Trump for expressing his unusual determination and will for the settlement of the issue with a great interest in the second DPRK-U.S. summit," the KCNA said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim also said he will "believe in the positive way of thinking of President Trump, wait with patience and in good faith and, together with the U.S., advance step by step toward the goal to be reached by the two countries of the DPRK and the U.S.," according to the KCNA.

It was the North's first report on Kim Yong-chol's trip to Washington. During the visit, the envoy met with Trump at the White House and delivered a personal letter from the North's leader. He also held talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump said after the meeting the two sides agreed to hold a second summit in late February, though the exact date and venue would be announced later. The KCNA, however, made no mention of the agreement to hold a summit next month.

"Expressing satisfaction over the results of the talks and activities done by the DPRK delegation in Washington D.C., the U.S., he set forth tasks and orientation for making good technical preparations for the second DPRK-U.S. summit high on the agenda," the KCNA said.

The envoy's trip came after a prolonged stalemate in denuclearization talks following their historic summit in Singapore last June. At the talks both sides agreed to work toward complete denuclearization in exchange for security guarantees for Pyongyang.

Pyongyang wants sanctions relief for the steps it has taken since the June meeting, such as dismantling a major nuclear and missile test site. Washington demands more concrete denuclearization measures.

The date and venue for their second summit have yet to be announced. Vietnam is one of the most talked-about locations for the highly anticipated meeting.

Their nuclear negotiators held working-level talks in Sweden over the weekend to discuss details for the upcoming summit, apparently including the agenda items to be discussed by their leaders.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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