North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spoke highly of U.S. President Donald Trump, state media said on Thursday, and expressed satisfaction over the results of talks between officials from both countries about a second summit between Kim and Trump.
Kim said he would trust Trump's approach, the North's official KCNA news agency said, weeks after Kim warned North Korea could seek a "new path" if U.S. sanctions and pressure continued. That suggested Kim was focused on the next meeting with Trump to produce results.
"Kim Jong Un said that we will believe in President Trump's positive way of thinking, wait with patience and in good faith and, together with the U.S., advance step by step toward the goal to be reached by the two countries," KCNA said.
It said Kim expressed "large satisfaction" at receiving a "great" letter from Trump and a briefing about the results of the negotiations from the North Korean delegation that visited Washington last week but did not elaborate.
Kim ordered working-level preparations for the second North Korea-U.S. summit to be done well, KCNA said. The White House said last week a second Trump-Kim summit would be held in late February but did not say where.
That follows their landmark first summit in Singapore last June, which produced a promise to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Progress since then has been patchy.
The newspaper, citing an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the U.S.-North Korea situation, said the same had been made clear to Trump during senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol's Washington visit last week.
North Korea has hinted, for example, at the possibility of agreeing to the U.S. demand for verification of denuclearization efforts before it discards its Yongbyon nuclear facilities.
In turn, the United States has mentioned potential measures such as easing limits on oil imports, a conditional restart of the Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea, and opening a liaison office in Pyongyang, DongA reported.