By Michael Hernandez
President Donald Trump on Thursday shared a "very nice" letter he said was sent to him by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The letter effusively praises Trump while teasing a possible second meeting between the leaders.
"Wishing that the invariable trust and confidence in Your Excellency Mr. President will be further strengthened in the future process of taking practical actions, I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting DPRK-U.S. relations will bring our next meeting forward," Kim wrote in the letter dated July 6, referencing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
Trump and Kim met in Singapore last month during an historic sit-down between the U.S. and the North.
"I firmly believe that the strong will, sincere efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr. President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the U.S. will surely come to fruition," Kim added.
The letter, sent last week, was since followed by a contentious two-day meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials that ended with a lengthy, barb-filled statement from the North.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of making a "unilateral and gangster-like" demand for the North's denuclearization after the two-day talks concluded.
A major sticking point between the two sides has been Washington's plan for North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
Pyongyang has consistently demanded a more gradual process based on developing mutual trust.
Pompeo, Trump's point person for all things North Korea, conceded Washington and Pyongyang "still have a long ways to go.
"But the commitment that the North Koreans made – frankly, that Chairman Kim personally made to President Trump – remains, has been reinforced," he told reporters during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan.
In another sign that relations have strained since Kim sent the letter, CNN reported that North Korean officials failed to show up for a meeting with their U.S. counterparts in the demilitarized zone Thursday.
The meeting was to focus on the return of remains of America's war dead killed during the Korean War.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. was informed "midday" that the North Koreans wanted to move the meeting back to July 15.
"We will be ready," she said.
Pompeo ignored a reporter's question about the "snub" while he was traveling to Brussels, Belgium, CNN reported.