[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter meeting senior adviser to the North Korean leader at the White House, US President Donald Trump confirmed that his planned meeting with Kim Jong-un is back on for June 12 in Singapore to continue laying the groundwork for the historic meeting.
“We are going to deal, and we are really going to start a process,” Trump said on Friday, adding that the two sides don’t expect to sign any agreement on June 12. “Remember what I say: We will see what we will see.”
Trump and North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, talked about sanctions on the reclusive regime. “The US has hundreds of new sanctions that are ready to go” but isn’t going to implement them while talks are ongoing. Why would I do that when we’re talking so nicely,” he said.
“I look forward to the day I can take the sanctions off North Korea,” Trump said. “I don’t even want to use the term maximum pressure anymore.”
Suggesting a formal conclusion of hostilities stemming from the Korean War in the 1950s could be a result of the Singapore summit, Trump said, “We talked about ending the war. Can you believe we’re talking the ending of the Korean War?”
Trump received Kim Yong Chol, a former North Korean spy chief who’s been involved in decades of nuclear talks, in the Oval Office. The North Korean envoy hand-delivered a letter to Trump from the North Korean leader, after a day of talks in New York with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The president told reporters it was a “very nice letter” although he later said he hadn’t opened it yet.
After the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, Trump walked Kim out of the White House. They continued to speak and posed for photos before Kim got into a black SUV and departed.
Kim was welcomed to the White House earlier by Chief of Staff John Kelly, who together with CIA Korea chief Andy Kim led the official into the Diplomatic Reception Room, then along the Colonnade and past the Rose Garden to the Oval Office.
(With inputs from Bloomberg)