N. Korea summit back on, Trump says after meeting Kim envoy
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
U.S. President Donald Trump said on June 1 that he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as originally scheduled on June 12 for a historic summit after extraordinary Oval Office talks with a top envoy from Pyongyang.
But the U.S. president warned that he did not expect to immediately sign a deal to bring a halt to the reclusive regime’s nuclear program.
“I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it’s going to be a process, but the relationships are building and that’s very positive,” he said, after waving farewell to the North Korean leader’s right-hand man.
The Korean War has been largely frozen since an armistice ended hostilities, but not the underlying conflict, in 1953. Since then, there have been occasional clashes on the divided peninsula.
“We talked about ending the war. Historically it’s very important, but we’ll see. We did discuss that, the ending of the Korean War,” Trump said.
Kim says he is committed to “denuclearization” in some form, but he is expected to demand security guarantees in return.
“We’re not going to go in and sign something on June 12. We never were. I told him today, ‘Take your time’,” he said, adding nevertheless that he expects “a really positive result in the end.”
North Korean officials said Kim Yong Chol was expected to return to Pyongyang shortly. Meanwhile, discussions between U.S. and North Korean officials continue in Singapore and in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
On May 31, Kim Jong Un told Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that his commitment to denuclearization remains “unchanged and consistent and fixed,” but experts warn he will seek concessions from Washington.
In addition to an end to the war, he is likely to want international recognition as well as guarantees against any strike by the US forces stationed in South Korea.