Washington, May 31: US President Donald Trump on Thursday said his officials are having “very good meetings” with the North Koreans, ahead of a possible summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Running against time, US and North Korean officials are having three separate meetings in New York, Singapore and at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
“Very good meetings with North Korea,” Trump said in a tweet, raising the chances of the June 12 summit meeting with Kim in Singapore.
Trump, however, did not confirm the June 12 meeting. However, the White House has said that it is preparing itself for the Singapore Summit on June 12.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was holding talks with North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol. A US advance team, led by the White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, was having meetings with the North Korean team in Singapore. At the DMZ, the US delegation, led by Ambassador Sung Kim, is meeting with North Korean officials.
“I think the president has made clear and Secretary Pompeo has made clear, the North Koreans have defined what they want as security, and they have determined some years ago that security could be found with nuclear weapons,” the official said.
“What we have to convince them is that, on the contrary, their nuclear programme has made them less secure, that there’s a better path forward, that we can work with them. We’re willing to work with them to provide them with the security guarantees they feel they need, and in fact, we’re willing to go beyond that to help them have greater economic prosperity. But they have to denuclearise,” said the official.
As of now, it is being planned as a one-day summit, but there are options to extend it further.
“The president made clear that he’s willing to stay on beyond one day. I think we are looking for something historic. I think we’re looking for something that has never done before. Be it for whatever reason the North Koreans say they’re not ready to do something like that....We will ramp up the pressure on them and we’ll be ready for the day that hopefully, they are,” the official said.