U.S. President Donald Trump, in a brief interview with Reuters today aboard Air Force One as he flew to Texas for Republican fundraising events, said, “it may take more than one meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to seal a denuclearization deal. I would like Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program as quickly as possible under any agreement. I’d like to see it done in one meeting. But oftentimes that’s not the way deals work,” Trump said hopping for a summit with Kim on June 12 in Singapore.
“There’s a very good chance that it won’t be done in one, two or three meetings. But it’ll get done at some point. It may get done really nicely and really intelligently, or it may not get done intelligently. It may have to be the hard way,” the president said believing that Kim wanted a deal.
“But I think it’ll get done in a very smart, organized fashion and I think that Kim Jong Un wants to see it also. And I’m going to be very happy when the day arrives when we can take sanctions off, and have a very good relationship with the entire Korean Peninsula,” President Trump said.
U.S.-ally South Korea and North Korea have technically been at war for decades, even though the Korean War’s military combat ended in 1953 because a peace agreement was never signed.
The U.S. president said he will most likely be visited by North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol on Friday at the White House after the official’s meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York.
The North Korean official is carrying a letter to Trump from Kim Jong Un.
“I look forward to seeing the letter and I look forward to June 12 where hopefully we can make progress,” Trump said.
In his interview with Reuters, the U.S. president said a nuclear deal with North Korea would have to cover its missiles program.
“I’d like to see a total denuclearization in as quick a period of time as is practicable,” he said. “You’re talking about machinery, you’re talking about things that can’t necessarily happen immediately but they can happen in as rapid a fashion as they can happen. That’s what I want to happen.”
North Korea has made advances in missile technology in recent years but Trump has sworn not to allow it to develop nuclear missiles that could hit the United States.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom;