Washington: US President Donald Trump confirmed that his Singapore Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would take place on June 12, and said it would begin the process of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Trump's announcement came at the end of a nearly 80-minute meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol. Kim Yong Chol delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to Trump.
"The meeting went very well. We'll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore. It went very well. It's really a get-to-know-you kind of a situation," Trump said at an impromptu press conference with the White House pool soon after the North Korean envoy left. Kim Yong Chol arrived in Washington DC after two days of talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York.
Trump acknowledged that denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula was going to be a long process. "I think it'll be a process. I never said it goes in one meeting. But the relationships are building, and that's a very positive thing," he said.
Confident that the North Koreans wanted to achieve this goal, he said they want other things along the line. "I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that. And they want other things along the line. They want to develop as a country. That's going to happen. I have no doubt," the US President said.
Trump said countries in the region – Japan and South Korea – were also involved in this. "We're involved in terms of getting everything. Everybody wants the United States. So we're going to help in the process. Without us, it wouldn't happen. But I think that you see a lot of very positive things, including with China. I think you see a lot of very positive things happening with President Xi, who has helped me quite a bit with this. So we'll see where it leads," he said.
The President went on to confirm that the summit would take place in Singapore on June 12. "It will be a beginning. I don't say and I've never said it happens in one meeting. You're talking years of hostility, problems and hatred between so many different nations. But I think you're going to have a very positive result in the end," he added. Responding to a question, Trump said he had never cancelled the meeting. His letter to Kim Jong-un was in response to statements coming from them.
"My letter was a response to their letter. The media forgot that. You know, the media said, 'Oh, you had a meeting, then you cancelled.' I didn't cancel the meeting. I cancelled it in response to a very tough statement. And I think we're totally over that. Now we're going to deal, and we're going to really start a process," he said.
"We are meeting with the Chairman (Kim Jong-un) on June 12 (in Singapore). It is ultimately going to be a successful process," Trump said. The president described the letter as very interesting and nice. "It was actually very interesting because this was literally going to be the delivery of a letter, and it ended up being a two-hour conversation with the second-most powerful man in North Korea," he said.
"We talked about almost everything. We talked about sanctions," Trump added. Based on the talks, Trump said the North Korean leader was committed to denuclearisation. "I do think so. He'd like to see it happen. He wants to be careful. He is not going to run and do things. But I told him, to be honest with you, look, we have sanctions on; they're very powerful sanctions. We would not take sanctions off unless they did that. But the sanctions are very powerful. You're going to see how powerful sanctions are when it comes to Iran. You see what that's doing to Iran," he said.
The President said he looked forward to the day when the sanctions could be lifted Trump, however, said the current level of sanctions on North Korea would remain. "It's going to remain what it is now. I don't even want to use the term 'maximum pressure' anymore because we're getting along," he said. He said the United States was unlikely to offer much aid to North Korea, which would be taken care of by South Korea and Japan.
Responding to a question, Trump said he was concerned about the recent visit of the Russian foreign minister to Pyongyang. "I didn't like it, but it could be very positive, too. I didn't like the Russian meeting yesterday. If it's a positive meeting, I love it. If it's a negative meeting, I'm not happy," he said.
Trump said they also talked about ending the Korean war. "We talked about ending the war. This war has been going on -- it's got to be the longest war -- almost 70 years, right? And there is a possibility of something like that. That's more of a signing of a document that it's very important in one way. Historically, it's very important. But we'll see. We did discuss the ending of the Korean War," he said.
The United States, Trump said, was going to ensure the security of Kim Jong-un. "We're going to make sure when this is over, it's over. It's not going to be starting up again. They have a potential to be a great country. I think South Korea, Japan and China are going to help a lot," he said. (PTI)