Updated Jun 24, 2019 - World

North Korea says Kim considering Trump's "excellent" letter

 North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un looks at a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he's hopeful a letter President Trump sent to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would provide a "good foundation" for "discussions with the North Koreans to denuclearize the peninsula."

Details: Pompeo made the comments during a media briefing a day after Pyongyang's state-run news agency KCNA praised the letter's "excellent content," without specifying details. "Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content," it said.

Why it matters: Relations between the U.S. and North Korea have been strained since Trump and Kim's Hanoi summit collapsed over denuclearization and sanctions relief issues in February.

What they're saying: Pompeo said they'd been "working to lay the foundations" for discussions since Hanoi. "We think we’re in a better place. ...  We’re literally prepared to begin at a moment’s notice if the North Koreans indicate that they are prepared for those discussions," he said.

The big picture: The development comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Kim to discuss the political situation over the Korean Peninsula and reached unspecified consensus on important issues, per AP. Trump has said he'll have an "extended meeting" with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, which he and Pompeo will attend.

  • Trump and Pompeo are due to travel to South Korea afterward for talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, per Reuters.

Go deeper: Global hotspots: North Korea and Iran

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