As part of his ongoing effort to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program, President Donald Trump met Friday with Kim Yong Choi, a top deputy to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in the Oval Office.
The two men were expected to “discuss relations between the two countries and continued progress on North Korea’s final, fully verified denuclearization,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Trump announced a denuclearization deal with Kim Jong Un at the conclusion of a high-profile summit in Singapore in June, but U.S. officials have told NBC News that Pyongyang has continued to develop ballistic missiles at undeclared sites.
While Trump has portrayed the suspension of nuclear missile tests as a sign that North Korea is no longer a threat to its neighbors or to the U.S., retired Air Force Gen. Barry McCaffrey told NBC News in November that North Korea’s actions amounted to “a political charade.”
“In the short term, North Korea is the most consequential threat to U.S. national security we’re facing,” he said at the time. “They have nuclear weapons, they have delivery systems, they are not going to denuclearize.”
Trump has been eager to schedule a second summit with Kim Jong Un, and it’s possible one could be announced after Friday’s meeting.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim Yong Choi on Friday morning.
They “had a good discussion” about “efforts to make progress on the commitments President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un made at their summit in Singapore,” State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said.