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Trump meets North Korean envoy at White House
U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korea's Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol has ended, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Friday (January 18), nearly two hours after the meeting had been scheduled to begin. Kim was seen arriving back at his D.C. hotel which he entered through the back door, according to reports, U.S. secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who already met the envoy earlier today is back at the hotel and in meetings with the North Koreans. The visit of Kim Yong Chol, Pyongyang's lead negotiator with the United States and a hardline former spy chief, marked a rare sign of potential movement in a denuclearization effort that has stalled since a landmark meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year. Kim Yong Chol and Pompeo, with tight smiles, posed together for photographs at a Washington hotel before holding about 45 minutes of talks that could help determine whether the two sides can make headway. After that meeting, the White House said Trump hosted Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office to "discuss relations between the two countries and continued progress on North Korea's final, fully verified denuclearization." There has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States or over Pyongyang's demand for a lifting of punishing sanctions. Hours before Kim Yong Chol's arrival on Thursday, Trump - who declared after the Singapore summit in June that the nuclear threat posed by North Korea was over - unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy that singled out the country as an ongoing and "extraordinary threat."