A senior State Department official told reporters on Wednesday night that it would be natural for the North Korean delegation to pass communications through Mr. Pompeo, who would then deliver it to the president. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that he would be surprised if the envoys personally delivered a letter to the president.
Michael Green, a former senior Asia adviser to President George W. Bush, said the flurry of diplomatic activity had already led South Korea, Russia and China to propose, consider or undertake a softening of sanctions.
“North Korea’s goal is to defuse sanctions, and it’s already working,” Mr. Green said. “There’s nothing that the North Koreans have put on the table that suggests any serious intent to denuclearize.”
American and North Korean envoys have also been meeting in Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, and another set of officials has held talks in Singapore to hash out the logistics of putting the June 12 summit meeting back on.
The blizzard of meetings is a breathtaking change from the bellicose language the two sides lobbed at each other for much of last year, with Mr. Trump threatening to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States.
But the two sides still remain far apart. The Trump administration has largely insisted that North Korea commit itself to a rapid and complete unwinding of its nuclear program, although the president recently opened the door to a phased dismantling.