Kim hopes for 'improvement of relations' with United States in letter to Trump

U.S. President Trump and North Korea's Kim walk together before their working lunch during their summit in Singapore

North Korea proposed to reschedule the meeting for Sunday. The U.S. also risks giving the North Koreans leverage to continue diplomacy and drag out disarmament talks.

Donald Trump has released a letter he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un while touting "great progress" in negotiations between the United States and Pyongyang - despite reports of a breakdown in talks.

North Korea watchers downplayed the significance of the letter.

"A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea".

The letter is dated July 6, 2018.

The letter's date indicates it was sent before Secretary of State Michael Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang last week, in which the USA and North Korea struggled to agree over plans to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

Trump was in London to meet with United Kingdom leaders after leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Belgium, when he tweeted Kim's letter.

North Korean representatives didn't show up for scheduled talks with the USA about returning the remains of fallen American soldiers.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said North Korea called at midday Thursday and offered to meet on Sunday instead. Pyongyang has asked the UN Command Armistice Commission to upgrade the talks to a higher level to include a US general, South Korea's foreign ministry said.

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It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the postponement.

North Korea's criticism of talks with Pompeo fueled further doubts about whether Trump will ever achieve his goal of "complete denuclearization", much less on the timeline of one to 2-1/2 years set out by various administration officials.

Representatives of the two countries had been poised to meet in Panmunjom, which is regarded as the truce village on the inter-Korean border.

North Korean officials didn't show up for a planned meeting with USA counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead, South Korean media reported, in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides.

But Pompeo gave a rosier account saying the two sides had substantive discussions on next steps toward denuclearisation.

The translated letter began, "Your Excellency Mr. President".

"I extend my conviction that the epochal progress in promoting the DPRK-US relations will bring our next meeting forward". Recent evidence actually suggests that the rogue nation continues to build up their nuclear infrastructure.

Speaking hours earlier at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, Trump pointed to North Korea's suspension of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing in the past eight months as a sign of progress in efforts to denuclearize the regime.

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