President Trump says next meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un likely in early 2019
President Donald Trump said a second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will likely take place in January or February.
“We’re getting along very well,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One during the return trip from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “We have a good relationship with Kim.”
The first Trump-Kim summit took place in June in Singapore but Trump has said the next meeting will probably take place at a new location.
The two countries are considering three sites for the potential summit, Trump said on Saturday, but he did not offer up details about where those sites were.
When asked if Kim would come to the US for a visit apart from the second summit, Trump said “at some point” he will.
Speaking to reporters onboard a flight to New Zealand following the G20, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Trump had asked him to pass a message to Kim, should the North Korean leader visit Seoul this year.
Moon said on Sunday that Trump told him he had a “very amicable view” of Kim and that he wanted to “implement the rest of the agreement” so that he can grant Kim’s “wishes.”
The Singapore summit ended with the two sides signing a vaguely-worded agreement committing to a new relationship and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In exchange, Trump agreed to “provide security guarantees” to North Korea.
Moon said Kim’s visit to Seoul was not yet confirmed to take place this year and the timing “depends on his decision.”
The President’s comments came hours after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a working meeting in Argentina, discussing several issues that included a temporary freeze on higher tariffs, fentanyl reclassification as a controlled substance, and the North Korea peninsula.
“It was also agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea and that President Trump, together with President Xi, will strive, along with Chairman Kim Jong Un, to see a nuclear free Korean Peninsula,” the White House said in a statement following the highly anticipated dinner in Argentina.
Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have publicly discussed a possible second meeting with Kim multiple times but talks with North Korean officials appeared to have been stalled.
Washington and Pyongyang were locked in a diplomatic standoff for weeks over which side will make concessions first until US officials relaxed its demands.
Last month, Vice President Mike Pence said the US will not require North Korea to provide a full list of its nuclear and missile sites before Trump meets Kim again.
Rather than requiring a declaration of nuclear weapons sites as a prerequisite to a second meeting with Trump, Pence told NBC News that the administration will insist on developing a “verifiable plan” to disclose those sites while the two leaders are in the same room.
Pence’s comments followed the release of new commercial satellite images identifying more than a dozen undeclared North Korean missile operating bases, another sign that Pyongyang is continuing to move forward with its ballistic missile program.
That assessment wasn’t a surprise to American intelligence agencies which have long assessed that the North Koreans have stored much of their weapons capability, including mobile missile launchers, in underground mountain bunkers.