WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, Trump announced Thursday, hours after suggesting the release of three Americans held in the North heralded a potential breakthrough toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
“We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump said in a tweet.
With the final details in place, Trump and Kim will meet in the first North Korea-U.S. summit talks since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Kim has suspended nuclear and missile tests and put his nuclear program up for negotiation, but questions remain about how serious his offer is and what disarmament steps he would willing to take.
Earlier Thursday, with the American former detainees by his side on a dark air base tarmac, Trump said during a made-for-TV ceremony that it was a “great honor” to welcome the men back to the U.S., but he added that “the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons.”
Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, other top officials and first lady Melania joined the president in the celebration in the wee hours of Thursday morning at Joint Base Andrews near Washington.
The former detainees — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim — had been released Wednesday amid the warming of relations between longtime adversaries.
Trump thanked Kim for releasing the Americans and said he believes Kim wants to reach an agreement on denuclearization at their upcoming summit.
“I really think he wants to do something,” the president said.
Pence said Thursday on NBC News, “In this moment the regime in North Korea has been dealing, as far as we can see, in good faith.”
Singapore had emerged as the likely host of the summit after Trump yielded to the concerns of his aides and backed off his desire to hold the meeting at the inter-Korean demilitarized zone.AlertMe