STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

President Trump Announces That Korean Summit Is On

President Trump announces the summit with North Korea is back on the agenda for June 12th in Singapore.

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 12:41 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 6:13 PM

By ZEKE MILLER, JOSH LEDERMAN and JONATHAN LEMIRE , Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S.-North Korea summit is back on, President Donald Trump announced Friday, ending weeks of uncertainty about a historic meeting with Kim Jong Un, to discuss ending the North Korean leader's nuclear program.

Trump made the announcement, just a week after he had said he was canceling the Singapore summit, following a more than hour-long meeting with a top North Korean official who delivered a letter from the North Korean leader. The official, Kim Yong Chol, posed for photos with Trump outside the Oval Office, and they talked amiably at Kim's car before he was driven away.

"We're going to deal," Trump told reporters after Kim left. He also said it was likely that more than one meeting would be necessary to bring about his goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula but "I think you're going to have a very positive result in the end. We will see what we will see."

In the latest sign of hostility cooling down but hopes kept in check, Trump said he's unilaterally put a hold on new sanctions against the North "until the talks break down."

"I don't even want to use the term 'maximum pressure' anymore," Trump added, referencing his preferred term for the punishing U.S. economic sanctions against North Korea.

Trump told reporters he hadn't yet read the letter from Kim and added with a smile, "I may be in for a big surprise, folks." But minutes earlier he had described the note as "a very interesting letter," and teased journalists about revealing its contents.

Plans for the high-stakes sit-down in Singapore had been cast into doubt. Trump suddenly withdrew from the meeting last week, only to announce a day later that it could still get back on track. White House officials cast the roller-coaster public statements as reflective of the hard-nosed negotiation by the two nations.

Three teams of officials in the U.S., Singapore, and the Korean demilitarized zone have been meeting this week on preparations for the summit.

After North Korean officials delivered a series of bellicose statements last month, Trump announced he was withdrawing from the summit with a strongly worded letter. He cited "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang but also urged Kim Jong Un to call him. By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea.

Trump has refused to publicly acknowledge whether he's spoken directly with Kim Jong Un ahead of the talks.

Kim Yong Chol was greeted at the White House by chief of staff John Kelly and then whisked into the Oval Office. He is the most senior North Korean to visit in 18 years, a symbolic sign of easing tensions after fears of war escalated amid North Korean nuclear and missile tests last year.

Questions remain about what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons would look like, though Trump said Friday he believed Kim Jong Un would agree to denuclearization. Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are lingering doubts about whether he will fully relinquish his nuclear weapons, which he may see as his only guarantee of survival.

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

Kim Yong Chol left his hotel in New York City early Friday for the trip to Washington in a convoy of SUVs. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the former CIA chief who has traveled to North Korea and met with Kim Jong Un twice in the past two months, said he believed the country's leaders are "contemplating a path forward where they can make a strategic shift, one that their country has not been prepared to make before."

Yet he also said a news conference that difficult work remains including hurdles that may appear to be insurmountable as negotiations progress on the U.S. demand for North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

"We will push forward to test the proposition that we can achieve that outcome," he said.

Despite the upbeat messaging in the United States, Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about the U.S. trying to spread its influence in the region, a comment that may complicate the summit. "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 Sergey Lavrov.

North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following an increase in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and for the international legitimacy a summit with Trump would provide.

Trump views a summit as a legacy-defining opportunity to make a nuclear deal.

Kim Yong Chol is the most senior North Korean visitor to the United States since Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington in 2000 to meet President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. That was the last time the two sides, which are technically at war, attempted to arrange a leadership summit. It was an effort that ultimately failed as Clinton's time in office ran out, and relations turned sour again after George W. Bush took office in early 2001 with a tough policy on the North.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee, was allowed into the United States despite being on a U.S. sanctions list. He was granted special permission to travel outside the New York area in order to meet with the president.

___

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey in Washington, Christopher Bodeen in Beijing and Matthew Lee in New York contributed.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20635

Reported Deaths: 348
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah476293
Washington299124
Marion283769
Umatilla222127
Clackamas150039
Malheur75513
Deschutes5829
Lane5653
Jackson4472
Yamhill42913
Lincoln4129
Union3942
Morrow3493
Jefferson3464
Polk30812
Linn27110
Klamath2012
Hood River1810
Wasco1813
Benton1646
Douglas1481
Josephine1132
Columbia910
Coos900
Clatsop840
Crook431
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10475196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8760136
Ventura803582
San Francisco732664
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5978120
Marin525778
Monterey515635
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
San Luis Obispo204716
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte960
Siskiyou920
Inyo863
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
Brookings
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Crater Lake
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 70°
Grants Pass
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
Klamath Falls
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 70°
Temperatures heating up
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events