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Kim receives 'excellent' letter from US president

By PAN MENGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-24 09:12

US President Donald Trump and the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong-un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, June 12, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Amid a nuclear deadlock between Pyongyang and Washington, DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un received a personal letter with "excellent" and "interesting" content from US President Donald Trump, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content," the KCNA said in a report published on Sunday, referring to the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content," it added.

KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim. The front page of DPRK's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper also carried a photo of Kim holding Trump's letter as he read it in his office.

Agence France-Presse said the White House declined to confirm whether Trump had sent a letter to Kim, but a statement from the office of Republic of Korea's President Moon Jae-in said that he was aware of the correspondence through communication with Washington, and described the exchange as "positive".

According to Zheng Jiyong, director of the Korea Research Center at Fudan University in Shanghai, the letter appears to be in answer to a letter Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump described Kim's letter as "beautiful" and "very warm", while he also emphasized that the relationship between the pair remains strong and that "something will happen that's going to be very positive".

Zheng said the exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The second summit between the two leaders in Hanoi collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until Pyongyang completely gives up its nuclear weapons program.

"The letter diplomacy shows they are communicating even though there is a pause in talks," Zheng added.

It is not the first time the two leaders have opted for the traditional means of communication. Trump and Kim also exchanged letters in 2018 after their first summit. In September 2018, Trump told a cheering crowd at a campaign rally in West Virginia that Kim "wrote me beautiful letters and they're great letters. We fell in love".

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