Trump Pledges No Spying on North Korea

Former US officials also said Kim Jong-nam had been almost certainly in contact with security services of other countries. — Reuters pic

One source says there was a "nexus" between the Central Intelligence Agency and Kim Jong Nam, who died after a banned chemical weapon was smeared on his face in Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

"We have a very good relationship together ..."

The pair have since met for negotiations in Singapore and Vietnam.

Trump told the press before departing the White House for Iowa that he received a "very warm" and "very nice" letter from Kim on Monday, without providing more details about the letter.

"Several former USA officials said the half brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country's inner workings", the Journal said.

Fifield said Mr Kim usually met his handlers in Singapore and Malaysia, citing a source with knowledge of the intelligence.

Moon and Kim Jong Un met three times past year, issuing vague statements on denuclearization and peace and vowing to resume joint economic projects when possible, and voicing optimism that USA -led sanctions against North Korea could end and allow such co-operation.

Senior South Korean officials travelled to the border village of Panmunjom to receive the wreath and letter delivered by Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, a senior official of North Korea's ruling party, who called for the Koreas to honour Lee's legacy with further co-operation, a South Korean presidential official said.

Trump remains publicly optimistic about his relationship with Kim.

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"The president should understand that to keep the nation safe, the CIA needs to be able to do its job gathering and analyzing intelligence that will support the full range of diplomatic, military, and economic policies and initiatives", Jung H. Pak, a former senior USA intelligence official who specialized in East Asia and is now with the Brookings Institution think tank, wrote in an email.

They said a third Trump-Kim summit without meaningful working-level talks beforehand would raise the risks of another embarrassing failure.

Kim sent Putin a congratulatory message on Wednesday saying he believed that "the common understanding and agreements made at our first significant meeting will bear rich fruits".

She was seen smiling broadly and shaking hands with South Korean officials before sitting across a table and handing over a purple folder containing the condolence letter.

Trump has insisted Kim abandon his entire nuclear weapons program before the United States relaxes sanctions against the North. Kim wants an incremental approach that would see the US ease sanctions gradually in exchange for limited steps to dismantle his nuclear program.

Interested in North Korea?

The move will be welcome news to those who praised Kim Jong-Un's summit with US President Donald Trump a year ago.

Kim Yo Jong visited South Korea for the Winter Olympics in February 2018 and also accompanied her brother at the summits.

Last month the North raised tensions in the region by firing short-range missiles for the first time since November 2017.

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