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White House confirms Trump sent letter to Kim Jong Un

WASHINGTON — The US confirmed that President Trump sent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a letter, which was first reported by North Korean state-run media.

On Sunday, Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency reported Trump had sent Kim an “excellent” letter and said Kim would “seriously contemplate” the content.

“There was reporting about a letter that was sent from President Trump to Chairman Kim. I can confirm that the letter was in fact sent,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Associated Press that “correspondence between the two leaders has been ongoing.”  It was not clear what the letter from Trump to Kim said.

This latest correspondence comes after the president revealed Kim had sent him a birthday letter earlier this month.

That letter became the subject of an awkward Oval Office encounter when Trump suggested a Time Magazine photographer could go to “prison” after the individual snapped a photo of the birthday letter as the president was showing it to the reporters in the room.

That letter was “written by Kim Jong Un” and “delivered to me yesterday. By hand,” the president told Time last Monday.

Earlier in the month, Trump spoke of another “beautiful” letter he had received from Kim, but didn’t elaborate on any more details.

The exchanges come after Trump left the negotiating table in February at his second summit with Kim — this one in Vietnam — after they couldn’t strike a deal. Trump wants North Korea to denuclearize, but has never given a definitive time table.

At the second summit, the North Koreans wanted sanctions relief, but weren’t committed to fully killing their weapons program. “Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a news conference in Hanoi before he left on Air Force One. “This was one of those times.”