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Trump: North Korea summit back on after meeting with envoy


U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

By Danielle Haynes, UPI

Moments after meeting with a North Korean envoy in the Oval Office on Friday, President Donald Trump said the June 12 summit with leader Kim Jong Un was back on.

Trump said he'll go forward with the scheduled Singapore meeting one week after canceling it over "tremendous anger and open hostility" from Pyongyang.

"We'll be meeting on June 12 in Singapore," Trump told reporters after speaking with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's top nuclear negotiator and former spy chief, for about an hour at the White House.

The two leaders are expected to hash out details on the denuclearization of North Korea.

"I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that," Trump said.

"I think it's going to be very successful. They're incredible people," he added. "I think it's going to be a very great success. But we'll see what happens."

In exchange for denuclearization, North Korea is seeking a lifting of sanctions that have hampered the country's economy. Though Trump and Kim Yong Chol didn't talk about sanctions, the U.S. president said he didn't plan to add new sanctions while negotiations were ongoing.

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

The president told reporters he believes China, Japan and South Korea must play a major role in redeveloping the North.

"It's in their neighborhood," he said. "We're very far away."

And speaking of South Korea, Trump said he talked to Kim Yong Chol about a formal end to the Korean War. The two sides never signed a formal peace treaty, only an armistice.

Trump has said he's willing to walk away from the meeting later this month should it not be successful.

"If we don't think it's going to be successful, we won't have it," he said in April shortly after the summit was announced. "If the meeting when I'm there isn't fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting."

Kim Yong Chol delivered a letter to Trump from Kim Jong Un about the summit Friday. It was in response to a letter the U.S. president sent the North Korean leader on May 24 saying it would be "inappropriate" to meet.

"I was very much looking forward to being there with you," Trump wrote. "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."

Trump may have been referring to comments from officials like Choe Son Hui, who slammed Vice President Mike Pence for comments on Libya and North Korea.

Choe had also suggested the United States should engage in better conduct.

"Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room, or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States," Choe said.


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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Trump: North Korea summit back on after meeting with envoy
Trump: North Korea summit back on after meeting with envoy
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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