Trump-Kim talks are on
President gives the go-ahead for Singapore summit
AFTER a week of negotiation, gamesmanship and theatrics, President Donald Trump announced yesterday the historic nuclear-weapons summit he had cancelled with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is back on.
The June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first between heads of the technically still- warring nations, is meant to begin the process of ending North Korea’s nuclear program, and Trump said he believes Kim is committed to that goal. The announcement puts back on track a summit that could be a legacy-defining moment for the American leader, who has matched his dealmaking style with the mercurial Kim government.
Despite recently envisioning Nobel laurels, Trump worked yesterday to lower expectations. “We’re going to deal, and we’re going to really start a process,” Trump said.
He spoke from a White House lawn after seeing off a senior Kim deputy who spent more than an hour with him in the Oval Office. Much had been made of a letter his visitor was bringing from the North Korean leader, but Trump’s comments left it unclear whether he had looked at it.
A White House spokesman later said the President had read the letter but would not reveal its contents.
The President said it was likely more than one meeting would be needed to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.
“I think you’re going to have a very positive result in the end, not from one meeting,” he said.
In the latest sign of hostility cooling down, Trump said he had unilaterally put a hold on hundreds of new sanctions against the North, without Kim’s government asking.
“I’m not going to put them on until such time as the talks break down,” he said. “I don’t even want to use the term ‘maximum pressure’.”
Plans for the meeting in Singapore had been cast into doubt after Trump announced his withdrawal last month, only to announce a day later it could be back on. Then three teams — in the US, Singapore and Korean demilitarised zone — began preparations.