Trump May Not Meet With North Korean Leader Until June

Saul Bowman
April 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump said Monday that he expects to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May or early June.

Mr Kim's remarks on Monday did not specifically refer to a summit with Mr Trump.

The report represents DPRK state media's first mention of the date and the place of the upcoming inter-Korean summit.

Following multiple media reports of back-channel talks between the Cold War rivals, Trump said Monday he planned to meet Kim in "May or early June".

On Sunday, a Trump administration official said that the "U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", according to the Wall Street Journal.

Tension over North Korea's tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile surged a year ago and raised fears of USA military action against Pyongyang.

He said he thinks the meeting will be a "very exciting thing for the world".

Trump also talked about the recently renegotiated free trade agreement between South Korea and the USA, saying he think it's going to be "a very fair deal".

Trump has said that Kim is suddenly interested in talking with the outside world because of his "maximum pressure" campaign against the North Korean leader.

Mongolia has also been floated as a possible location of the summit, which would follow a first meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In slated for April 27 at the truce village of Panmunjeom.

A Trump administration official on Sunday said that the US had "confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?". The North had conveyed the invitation to a visiting delegation from South Korea, which in turn travelled to Washington and relayed the message to Trump.

USA officials said on Sunday that Kim was open to discussing denuclearization, clearing the way for a historic sit-down between the two leaders.

He blamed previous administrations for allowing the relationship with North Korea to get to a crisis point, or failing to negotiate an end to a nuclear program that targets the United States. Ri also paid a visit last month to Sweden, which acts as a diplomatic go-between for Washington and Pyongyang. It is scheduled to take place without the months of groundwork that usually precedes such meetings.

US President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton at Monday's cabinet meeting at the White House.

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