Trump: Korea sum­mit ‘one-time shot’ for Kim

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - NATION & WORLD 2 -

SIN­GA­PORE — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump cast his Tues­day sum­mit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as a “one-time shot” for the au­to­cratic leader to ditch his nu­clear weapons and en­ter the com­mu­nity of na­tions, say­ing he would know within mo­ments if Kim is se­ri­ous about the talks.

Trump said Satur­day that he was em­bark­ing on a “mis­sion of peace,” as he de­parted the Group of Seven meet­ing in Canada to fly to the sum­mit site in Sin­ga­pore.

Say­ing he has a “clear ob­jec­tive in mind” to per­suade Kim to aban­don his nu­clear pro­gram in ex­change for un­spec­i­fied “pro­tec­tions” from the U.S., Trump ac­knowl­edged that the di­rec­tion of the high-stakes meet­ing is un­pre­dictable, adding it “will al­ways be spur of the mo­ment.”

“It’s un­known ter­ri­tory in the truest sense, but I re­ally feel con­fi­dent,” he told re­porters. “I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do some­thing great for his peo­ple and he has that op­por­tu­nity, and he won’t have that op­por­tu­nity again.”

“It’s a one-time shot, and I think it’s go­ing to work out very well,” he said.

The meet­ing will be the first be­tween a sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader. Un­like tra­di­tional sum­mits be­tween heads of state, where most of the work is com­pleted in ad­vance of a photo-op, U.S. of­fi­cials say the only thing cer­tain ahead of these talks will be their un­pre­dictabil­ity.

Rais­ing ex­pec­ta­tions in ad­vance of the meet­ing, Trump said the out­come will rely heav­ily on his own in­stincts. The U.S. pres­i­dent, who prides him­self on his deal-mak­ing prow­ess, said he will know “within the first minute” of meet­ing Kim whether the North Korean leader is se­ri­ous about the nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“I think I’ll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opin­ion, some­thing pos­i­tive will hap­pen. And if I think it won’t hap­pen, I’m not go­ing to waste my time. I don’t want to waste his time,” Trump said.

“This is a leader who re­ally is an un­known per­son­al­ity,” Trump added of Kim. “Peo­ple don’t know much about him. I think that he’s go­ing to sur­prise on the up­side, very much on the up­side.”

As he looks to the Kim meet­ing, Trump is tak­ing a high­stakes risk, grant­ing Kim the in­ter­na­tional le­git­i­macy he’s long sought in hopes of se­cur­ing a legacy-defin­ing ac­cord.

“He could take that na­tion with those great peo­ple and truly make it great,” Trump said. “That’s why I feel pos­i­tive, be­cause it makes so much sense.”

Trump also praised the North Kore­ans, say­ing they have been “re­ally work­ing very well with us” dur­ing sum­mit prepa­ra­tions.

Trump re­it­er­ated his prom­ise that the U.S. “will watch over and we’ll pro­tect” Kim and his government in re­turn for him giv­ing up the nu­clear pro­gram. He in­di­cated South Korea, China and Ja­pan are pre­pared to in­vest in the North to boost its econ­omy.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Peo­ple held can­dles near the U.S. Em­bassy in Seoul, South Korea, on Satur­day dur­ing a rally ex­press­ing wishes for a suc­cess­ful sum­mit be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A can­non is stuffed with flow­ers at Fort Siloso, a pre­served coastal fort on the is­land of Sen­tosa, Sin­ga­pore, as a sym­bol of peace in honor of the U.S.-North Korea talks that will take place in Sin­ga­pore on Tues­day.

Trump

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