US President Donald Trump confirms that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore, a summit he has previously canceled.
“We’ll see where it leads but we’re going to meet June 12,” Trump said on the White House lawn after a rare meeting with a senior North Korean official in the Oval Office on Friday.
“The relationships are building and that’s a very positive thing,” Trump told reporters. “I think it’s probably going to be a very successful, ultimately a successful process.”
When asked about whether North Korea wants to denuclearize, he said, “I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that.”
“They want to develop as a country,” added the president.
Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, General Kim Yong-chol, earlier on Friday.
Kim arrived in Washington from New York, where he met with Pompeo on preparations for the summit on Thursday.
Pompeo expressed confidence that the process was moving in the right direction, but he urged the North Korean leader to be bold enough to make a “strategic shift” and give up nuclear weapons.
“It will take bold leadership from Chairman Kim Jong-un if we were able to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to change the course for the world,” Pompeo said.
The Kim-Trump summit announcement came after several months of unprecedented cordial diplomacy between South and North Koreas, which had been adversaries for decades. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been acting as a go-between in diplomatic efforts for the potential holding of the summit between the US and North Korea — also long-time foes.
Trump has threatened the North Korean leader with the same fate as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi if Pyongyang does not abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Trump issued the threat this month when asked about the suggestion by US National Security Adviser John Bolton that the “Libyan model” be a template for dealing with North Korea at the planned summit.