President Trump: June 12 Summit with North Korea is back on

Marsha Scott
June 2, 2018

Last week, Trump had abruptly canceled the historic Singapore meeting arranged by US and North Korean officials after North Korea sent a bellicose letter critical of Vice President Mike Pence.

"Our secretary of state is having very good meetings", Mr. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before departing on a trip to Texas. But Trump also promised he would ensure security for both Kim and the North Korean regime if he does close down his nuclear weapons program.

"Historically it's very important, but we'll see".

He added: "I may be in for a big surprise, folks". But a flurry of diplomacy across two continents got the meeting back on track, and Trump announced Friday that he would attend as initially planned. White House officials cast the roller-coaster public statements as reflective of the hard-nosed negotiation by the two nations.

The North Korean envoy, a close confidant of Kim Jong-un, arrived in Washington after two days of talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY. However, his comments were the most positive from any US official since Mr. Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North.

Kim's meeting with Lavrov was likely a move to try to secure Russia - along with China - as another powerful player that can push the United States to ease sanctions and make other concessions, said Anthony Rinna, a specialist in Korea-Russia relations at Sino-NK, a website that analyses the region. Trump had withdrawn from the summit on May 24 with a strongly worded letter of his own, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang but also urged Kim to call him. By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea. The two men posed with the very large envelope in the Oval Office.

Hagin said the U.S is open to paying for the bill, but is considering asking Singapore, the host country to pay for North Korea's portion.

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USA defense and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental US with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other US officials have said they would not tolerate.

Trump says after an Oval Office meeting Friday with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol that he'd be making a mistake not to go forward with the on-again, off-again nuclear summit in Singapore.

"I look forward to the day I can take the sanctions off North Korea", Trump said.

"We have seen history repeat, where North Korea would declare to denuclearise, thereby portraying itself as conciliatory and forthcoming, only to turn around to void all worldwide efforts towards peace".

U.S. officials with knowledge of the letter's contents said it did not make any noteworthy threats or concessions, and was seen as a positive step, according to multiple news reports.

"As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of U.S. hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward", Kim told Lavrov.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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