Pyongyang and Damascus maintain good relations, and United Nations monitors have accused North Korea of co-operating with Syria on chemical weapons, which the North vehemently denies. "We call on all involved sides to fully appreciate their responsibility for not allowing this very important but still fragile process to break down", he said, adding that Russian Federation was ready to contribute to ongoing diplomatic efforts.
Trump is scheduled to meet Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, which will mark the first time a sitting USA president will meet face-to-face with a North Korean leader.
Bashar al-Assad is to visit North Korea, Pyongyang state media has claimed, in what would be a first state visit for the Syrian president under the leadership of Kim Jong-un.
Kim's letter seemed to be a sign that the summit might now go ahead.
He was speaking at an worldwide security conference in Singapore, which is hosting the June 12 summit.
Trump said North Korean officials asked about sanctions, which Trump said will remain in place.
He says the "hopes of the world are on these talks". After a moment of silence, Ri, who in the past has been described by South Korean counterparts as hot-tempered, ripped into the reporter.
Mattis was speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an worldwide security conference in Singapore. Kim Yong Chol had been personally sanctioned by the United States over his role in the North's nuclear weapons program and is thought to have masterminded an attack that sank a South Korean naval vessel in 2010, killing 46 sailors. NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us. I don't say and I've never said it happens in one meeting.
The North also demands the repatriation of a dozen North Korean restaurant workers, who came to the South in 2016 via China. Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are lingering doubts about whether he will fully relinquish his nuclear weapons, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival. Top US officials are often contradicting the US President with national security advisor John Bolton stating that he would like negotiations to be done quickly because a long-term process could wring out concessions from the US, whereas Trump is open to a slower approach. Kim has already had two meetings each with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Pompeo - once as Central Intelligence Agency director and then as secretary of state. He had announced just last week that he was canceling the meeting. We would not take sanctions off unless they did that.
While the actual letter was not seen publicly, North Korean vice chairman Kim Yong Chol presented Trump with a symbolic, oversized novelty envelope, and the two men took a picture with it in the Oval Office. But the process will begin on June 12 in Singapore. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong Un. He later said he had not yet read it.
Trump referred to the letter from Pyongyang as "interesting".
The official arrived just after 1 p.m. ET on the White House South Lawn, where foreign dignitaries are typically received by the President.
Kim Yong Chol spent more than an hour in the Oval Office where he was spotted shaking hands with the president.
The president said he believes North Korea is committed to denuclearization and even suggested the summit could bring an official end to the Korean War. The President's hand size is something he has previously defended.
The president teased reporters about the contents of the letter, saying, "That letter was a very nice letter".
The two Koreas agreed to hold more meetings throughout this month to carry out the agreements reached between their leaders at the April summit, according to a joint statement released following Friday's talks.
"I am going to visit the DPRK and meet..." That from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Talks about reunions of families divided by the war, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, would be held on June 22 at the Mount Kumgang resort north of the border.
On Wednesday, Pompeo tweeted: "Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in NY tonight".