Trump-Kim talks are on

Pres­i­dent gives the go-ahead for Sin­ga­pore sum­mit

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - Wash­ing­ton

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.

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