North Korea’s Kim invites Trump to Pyongyang in letter: report

The White House reportedly received a letter from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un inviting President Trump to visit Pyongyang, which could be the first overture before the potential fourth official visit.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to Reuters to confirm the report in South Korea’s Joongang Ilbo newspaper. The letter reportedly pre-dated the country’s last short-range launch from a week ago.

The recent White House shakeup could have had implications in these discussions.

North Korea long expressed disdain for John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser. Pyongyang called him a “warmonger” and “defective human product” who glorified regime change and preemptive strikes.

Last week, Trump went so far as to accuse Bolton of scaring Kim away from negotiations by mentioning the “Libya model” last year in discussing what an agreement to denuclearize North Korea might look like.

Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011 after renouncing weapons of mass destruction.

Trump said Kim wanted “nothing to do with John Bolton.” And the president said he didn’t blame the North Korean leader for being upset.

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Still, “the change of one adviser is unlikely to dramatically alter the course of U.S. policy,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at South Korea’s Ewha Womans University.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.