Kim hopes for 'improvement of relations' with U.S. in letter to Trump

It comes after Mr Trump released a "very nice note" from Mr Kim, signalling his optimism about efforts to end the nuclear stand-off with North Korea.

"I firmly believe that the strong will, honest efforts and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr President aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the USA will surely come to fruition", the North Korean leader wrote.

"I sincerely believe that the strong will, honest efforts, and unique approach of myself and Your Excellency Mr President, aimed at opening up a new future between the DPRK and the United States, will surely come to fruition".

Kim also voices hope that "the invariable trust and confidence in Your Excellency Mr. President will be further strengthened in the future process of taking practical actions".

Trump met with Kim in Singapore on June 12-the first meeting between leaders of the two countries.

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U.S. officials declined comment on reports North Korea failed to show up today for talks in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas to discuss the remains. 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.

In publishing the letter, President Trump tweeted: "Great progress being made!"

In the joint statement, Kim committed to work towards the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S. Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang over the weekend to try to flesh out the deal, but apparently left with few tangible results.

Pompeo had said a Pentagon team would meet with the North's officials on or around Thursday at the inter-Korea border to discuss the repatriation.

And US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was condemned by Kim's right-hand man Kim Jong chol for his "gangster"-like attitude during a summit in Pyongyang last weekend".

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While the details are unclear, a setback on talks over the remains wouldn't bode well for broader negotiations about North Korea's nuclear program.

North Korean and USA teams, as well as United Nations officials, had been due to discuss the details of repatriation.

North Korea proposed to reschedule the meeting for Sunday.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said North Korea has now offered to meet the delegation on Sunday.

Trump has sought to cast his summit with Kim as a major victory, although reports have suggested North Korea is continuing with its nuclear programme and promises of "denuclearisation" remain vague.

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"The U.S. side had had discussions with the North with an aim to hold the talks as early as July 12, but it appeared that the North was not ready for the talks", the source told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity.

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