Woonsocket Call

Trump: NKorea sum­mit is ‘one-time shot’ for Kim

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SIN­GA­PORE ( AP) — 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 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 con­vince 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 Trump-Kim meet­ing 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.”

The Kim sit-down comes as Trump’s com­bat­ive style of diplo­macy has been on stark dis­play this week­end in Canada dur­ing the an­nual Group of Seven sum­mit. Ten­sions flared be­tween Trump and U.S. al­lies over his pro­tec­tion­ist eco­nomic poli­cies and de­ci­sions to exit the Iran nu­clear deal and Paris cli­mate ac­cord.

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