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"I am going to visit the DPRK and meet HE Kim Jong Un", Assad was quoted saying in the report, using the initials for North Korea's official name and referring to Kim using letters that stand for "his excellency".

On Thursday, after talks with Kim Yong-chol in NY, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed confidence that the process was moving in the right direction, but warned that the North's young leader must be bold enough to make a "strategic shift" in understanding that he will be safer without nuclear weapons.

On Friday, Trump said his plan to meet Kim on June 12 in Singapore had been revived after meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a close aide to the leader, in the White House.

US President Donald Trump with North Korea's envoy, former military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.

Top American and North Korean officials plan a full day of meetings in NY aimed at deciding whether a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can be salvaged.

Despite having a border with North Korea and relatively cordial relations that Putin has seemed to want to develop further, Russian Federation has kept a surprisingly low profile as Kim has emerged onto the world stage this year, meeting twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korea's Moon.

"I believe they are contemplating a path forward".

"Kim Young Chol [sic], the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY".

Early on Thursday, Mr Trump told reporters "we are doing very well" with North Korea.

Typically, the person with the higher status enters the summit venue last and sits farthest from the door, said a Japanese official who had attended past dialogues between Japanese and North Korean officials.

"It will take bold leadership from Chairman Kim Jong Un if we were able to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to change the course for the world", he said.

"We'll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore". "I think you're going to have a really positive result in the end, not from one meeting". Moments later, he said he "hadn't seen the letter yet" and had purposely not opened it. Both regimes have been the target of worldwide isolation - Pyongyang over its banned nuclear programme and Damascus for atrocities committed during the seven-year civil war.

"We'll see what happens", Trump said on Thursday.

Washington is pressing North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for lifting sanctions and economic relief.