N Korea envoy reaches US even as Pyongyang poses ‘extraordinary threats’
Washington, Jan 18: Kim Yong Chol, the lead negotiator of North Korea in nuclear talks reached Washington on Thursday, January 17, just hours after US President Donald Trump came out with a new missile defence strategy, which according to a report in CNN, appeared to contradict his own claim that Pyongyang is no longer a nuclear threat.
Kim reportedly brought with him a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the American president, a source which is familiar with the denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea told the channel.
"Amid signs the two sides are close to agreeing to a second summit the newly unveiled Missile Defense Review, which Trump personally introduced at the Pentagon, explicitly states that North Korea remains an "extraordinary threat" to the US, an assessment that is consistent with previous findings by US military and intelligence agencies but rarely acknowledged by Trump himself," the CNN report said.
In June, when Trump met Kim in Singapore in a first-ever summit between an American president and a North Korean leader, he said that the talks had eliminated any nuclear threat posed by Pyongyang although there was no hard evidence in its support.
"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office," Trump tweeted as he arrived back in Washington after meeting Kim.
The US president had been saying since then that North Korea was showing signs towards denuclearisation though his deputy Vice Pence said on Wednesday, January 16, that Washington was still waiting for North Korea to take concrete steps towards denuclearisation. Moreover, the missile defense strategy released on Thursday indicated that Pyongyang still poses a significant threat to the US.
"While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the United States must remain vigilant," the Pentagon assessment said, as per CNN.