Reporting earlier in the week that U.S. President Donald Trump had been personally invited to Pyongyang by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was inaccurate, an informed source told NK News on Wednesday.
South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo on Monday reported — citing unnamed sources — that Trump had received a previously-undisclosed letter from Kim last month that invited him to hold a one-on-one meeting in the North Korean capital.
The reporting was widely circulated in international media, which the U.S. President later appeared to partially confirm in comments to press later in the day.
“I think we have a ways to go yet,” Trump said, when asked about meeting Kim again in North Korea. “I would do it at some time, at some time in a later future.”
But NK News now understands that that JoongAng Ilbo‘s reporting was “false” and that no such invitation was received, with the President instead responding to a “hypothetical” question.
But despite reports of the invitation for a potential fourth summit being inaccurate, Trump has in recent weeks expressed an openness to meet with the North Korean leader again this year.
“At some point yes,” Trump said last Thursday. “Certainly they want to meet. I think it’s something that will happen and we’ll see. But Kim Jong Un… I think something can happen.”
North Korea and the U.S. are also expected to restart long-stalled working-level negotiations in the near-future.
A senior official with the country’s foreign ministry on Monday said they expected talks to begin “in the coming few weeks,” expressing hopes for a “good meeting between the DPRK and the U.S.”
In response, an unnamed U.S. State Department official said that while they had “no meetings to announce” for the time being.
Washington has, however, welcomed Pyongyang’s new openness to dialogue.
“We welcome the North Korean commitment to resume negotiations in late September,” the official, who declined to be named, said. “We are prepared to have those discussions at a time and place to be agreed.”
Additional reporting: Chad O’Carroll
Featured image: KCNA