After much dilly-dally, Donald Trump on Friday said his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 will be held as scheduled. The United States president made the announcement after holding talks with a senior North Korean envoy, General Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.
Trump said one of main agendas of the summit would be the formal ending of the Korean War. The 1950-53 conflict only ended with a truce and no final peace treaty was signed. He, however, said that the summit may not lead to a final deal on the North Korea’s denuclearisation. “I never said it goes in one meeting,” said the president, according to BBC. “I think it’s going to be a process, but the relationships are building and that’s very positive.”
General Kim Yong Chol’s visit to Washington came a day after he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York. Pompeo described their talks about denuclearisation “substantive”.
He handed a letter from Kim Jong-un to Trump. The content of Kim Jong-un’s letter was not known immediately. Trump initially said the letter was “interesting” but later claimed that he has not yet opened it. “I may be in for a big surprise, folks,” said Trump, according to The Guardian.
The letter says Kim Jong-un is interested in going ahead with the Singapore summit but there will be no change to North Korea’s negotiating positions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Both the US and North Korea have oscillated over holding the summit. On May 24, Trump called off the summit, blaming Pyongyang’s “tremendous anger” and “open hostility”. This came hours after North Korea announced it had dismantled its nuclear bomb test site in Punngye-ri. A day later, North Korea said it was still open to resolving problems with the US “at any time in any way”.