President Donald Trump has announced that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 as originally scheduled.
The president made the announcement after meeting with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol for over an hour on Friday, June 1, at the oval office in the White House.
Kim Yong Chol delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump. The president said that he has not yet read the letter. The conversation covered a number of topics, including sanctions, Trump said.
Upon arrival, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly ushered the North Koreans into the Oval Office to meet the president.
After the meeting, the North Korean delegates chatted with Trump on the White House lawn. The president and the North Korean delegates then posed for group photographs.
Trump and Pompeo walked Kim Yong Chol to his car.
Prior to Friday’s meeting, Kim Yong Chol met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City on Wednesday and Thursday. Pompeo said the talks are moving in the right direction.
“We think that working together, the people of the United States and North Korea can create a future defined by friendship and collaboration, not by mistrust and fear and threats,” Pompeo said on Thursday. “We sincerely hope that Chairman Kim Jong Un shares this positive vision for the future.”
Pompeo was in the room as Trump and Kim Yong Chol met.
The United States is seeking a commitment to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump and Pompeo have both promised North Korea a bright and prosperous future should the communist regime agree to abandon nuclear weapons.
Trump and Kim were scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12, but the American leader walked away from the summit last month.
Trump’s cancellation was prompted by a drastic change in rhetoric my Kim and senior North Korean officials in early May.
Despite the cancellation, Trump left the door open for renewing the summit. Pyongyang responded with a temperate statement indicating a desire to still hold the summit.
Since then, preparations for the meeting kicked into high gear, with delegations from Washington and Pyongyang holding meetings in the demilitarized zone in North Korea and in New York.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said on Thursday. “It’s a process. It’s all a process. We’ll see.”
“And hopefully we’ll have a meeting on the 12th,” he added. “That’s going along very well, but I want it to be meaningful. It doesn’t mean it gets all done at one meeting; maybe you have to have a second or a third. And maybe we’ll have none.”