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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Trump says: Summit with Kim is back on

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News Desk |

US President Donald Trump’s summit, with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, is back on, the US president says a week after it was scrapped. Mr. Trump made the announcement after talks with a senior North Korean envoy at the White House. The envoy, General Kim Yong-chol, hand-delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to the American President. At first, Trump called the letter “very interesting”, however, he later admitted to never have opened it.

He also revealed that the issue of formally ending the Korean War would be on the table in the summit, as the 1950-53 conflict only ended with a truce, not a final peace treaty. “We’ll be meeting on June 12th, in Singapore. It went very well,” President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn and added, “We’ve got to know their people very well”.

Mr. Trump cautioned that the summit might not achieve a final deal on the North’s controversial nuclear programme. “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.

The historic meeting between Mr. Trump and Kim Jong-un would be the first between sitting US and North Korean leaders. President Trump has offered to help rebuild the North Korea’s economy if it scraps its nuclear weapons. Upon which, Kim Jong-un claims that he is committed to “denuclearization” in some form, but his precise demands are unclear.

Read more: Placid Singapore braces for Trump-Kim storm

Gen Kim Yong-chol’s visit to Washington came a day after he met the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in New York. Mr. Pompeo called their talks about denuclearization, “substantive”. “President Trump and I believe Chairman Kim is the kind of leader who can make those kinds of decisions. And that in the coming weeks and months, we will have the opportunity to test whether or not this is the case,” he said.

Mr. Kim’s letter reportedly expresses his interest in meeting without making any significant concessions or threats in regards to denuclearization, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a foreign government official who was briefed on the contents.