This morning, the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the White House in 18 years, hand-delivered a letter to President Trump. Although Kim Yong Chol was not originally on the president's public schedule, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo believed it necessary for he and the president to meet with him.
"Our two countries face a pivotal moment in a relationship in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste," relayed Pompeo after his meetings with a North Korean delegation.
The sealed letter comes amidst negotiations over the proposed summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean official Kim Jong Un. On May 24th, President Trump took issue with the regime's "tremendous anger and open hostility" and decided to cancel the highest-level meeting between a US president and a North Korean official since 2000. The meeting was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. According to USA Today, the last meeting to take place 18 years ago included President Bill Clinton and representatives delivering a letter from then-North Korea leader Kim Jong II.
On Thursday, the president told reporters, "I look forward to seeing what's in the letter."
Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief who is currently the country's top nuclear negotiator, delivered the letter at 1 p.m. ET. The president was not present in the White House South Lawn, instead choosing to leave the task to the chief of staff John Kelly and a top CIA official.