Trump says North Korea summit will happen

By Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN
updated 9:00 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018
4:16 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

President Trump has now read the letter from Kim Jong Un, White House official says

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump has now read the letter from North Korea leader Kim Jong Un that was hand delivered by a top North Korean envoy this afternoon, a White House official says.

North Korea's senior official, Kim Yong Chol, met with Trump earlier today at the White House for more than an hour.

Moments after the meeting, he told reporters that he hadn't yet opened the letter. Here's that moment:

3:54 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

McConnell warns Trump not to get "snookered" in North Korea talks

From CNN's David Siegel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would advise President Trump on the North Korea talks to “be interested in the details," but cautioned him not to fall in love with the deal.

"You have to not want the deal too much," he said.

"If you fall in love with the deal, and it's too important for you to get it, and the details become less significant, you could get snookered. And I think the President is fully aware of that as he goes into it."

McConnell's comments came in an appearance at a conference in Louisville.

He said he expects talks with the North Koreans to be challenging.

“I think you can anticipate the North Koreans making every effort they can to get sanctions and other relief, and give up as little as possible," McConnell said. "It's going to be quite a challenge. And I think for these situations to work, you have to not want the deal too much."

3:05 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

Trump says US has "hundreds of new sanctions" ready for North Korea — but it's not using them yet

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Trump said his administration had readied "hundreds of new sanctions" to tighten the pressure campaign on North Korea, but said he has opted to hold off on additional sanctions while talks are still ongoing.

"We had hundreds of new sanctions ready to go on," Trump said.

But he explained he decided the US is "not going to put them on until such time as the talks break down."

"Why would I do that when we’re talking so nicely?" he added.
2:59 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

Trump hasn't read the letter from Kim Jong Un

North Korea's senior official, Kim Yong Chol, just met with President Trump to hand deliver a letter written by Kim Jong Un.

But the President said he hasn't seen the letter yet.

"I purposely didn't open the letter," he said. "I haven't it opened it yet. I didn't open it in front of the director. I said, 'Would you want me to open it?' He said, 'You can read it later.'"

Trump joked:

 I could be in for a big surprise, folks."

2:54 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

Trump: We won't use term "maximum pressure" anymore

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said he would retire the phrase "maximum pressure" in describing the US campaign to choke off North Korea.

He said sanctions would remain in place, but that he's looking to improve ties.

"I don't want to use the term maximum pressure anymore. I don't want to use that term. We're getting along. You see the relationship. It's not a question of maximum pressure," he said.

He said he didn't raise human rights during his meeting on Friday. 

2:53 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

President Trump shook Kim Yong Chol's hand after White House meeting

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump shook Kim Yong Chol's hand before he departed the White House in a black US government SUV.

Kim was at the White House for a little less than 90 minutes.

2:58 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

Trump says it would be "a big mistake" if Kim summit didn't happen

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump insisted on Friday he hadn't canceled a planned summit with Kim Jong Un, instead saying he was simply responding to provocative statements from North Korea.

He said those concerns are over.

"I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn’t have it," he said of the summit with Kim Jong Un. 

About that letter: He said the letter from Kim, delivered on Friday, was very nice, though later added he hadn't read it.

2:51 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

Trump: We are building a relationship with North Korea

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said there is forward momentum in US relations with North Korea.

"The relationships are building and that's a very positive thing," he said after meeting a top North Korean envoy in the Oval Office.  

Asked about Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization, Trump said: "I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that."

 "They want to develop as a country," Trump said.

2:49 p.m. ET, June 1, 2018

JUST IN: President Trump says June 12 meeting with Kim Jong Un will happen

President Trump, speaking outside the White House, just said he will meet Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.

Trump just met with Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief and currently North Korea's top nuclear negotiator, for more than an hour.

It's the highest-level meeting between a US president and a North Korean official since 2000.

Watch more: