U.S. accuses North Korea of illegally smuggling oil products

Trump: Kim Will Get 'Rocket Man' CD Later, Plus Surprise 'Little Gift'

Trump: Kim Will Get 'Rocket Man' CD Later, Plus Surprise 'Little Gift'

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un, has written a note to U.S. President Donald Trump, describing the American leader as "energetic and extraordinary".

"The significant first meeting with Your Excellency and the joint statement that we signed together in Singapore 24 days ago was indeed the start of a meaningful journey", Kim wrote in the July 6 letter Trump posted on Twitter alongside an English translation Thursday.

The letter however made no specific mention of the efforts toward denuclearization.

The repatriation of the remains of USA soldiers from North Korea has been a major issue between Washington and Pyongyang since the end of the Korean War, when thousands of Americans were left in Korea either missing in action or as prisoners of war.

Under the latest sanctions resolution adopted in December, crude oil supplies to North Korea were capped at four million barrels per year and a ceiling of 500,000 barrels of refined oil products per year was set.

Earlier Thursday, a diplomatic source here said the US and North Korea were still in talks to set a date for working-level dialogue over the repatriation of remains of American troops.

North Korea, meanwhile, lashed out at Washington for presenting "gangster-like demands" for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

When American officials showed up at the border village between North and South Korea on Thursday, they expected to meet with North Korean representatives to discuss the return of remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War. The two countries have resisted toughening sanctions on North Korea. "The Fake News here unfortunately are the Tweets by the president that he ended the nuclear threat from North Korea", Cha said in an editorial in Kyodo News.

Their meeting - the first between a sitting U.S. president and North Korea, led to claims that the latter would work towards dumping its nuclear weapons. Although Pompeo insisted progress continued to be made, North Korea accused the United States of making "gangster-like" demands.

There was no call or explanation from North Korean officials on why they skipped the meeting.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang last weekend, he was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, citing government sources, also reported that Pyongyang proposed holding them at the general-level, . strongly hinting that the North wants a senior USA military official present at the negotiations. But the president's optimistic outlook about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and steps in that direction have been brought into question, after an NBC report claiming North Korea has been expanding a nuclear facility. "We had anticipated the USA side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", a foreign ministry official said in a statement.

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