Washington, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his anticipated June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be “much more than a photo-op,” although he warned that it will be merely the first step in “a process” that will require other meetings.
“I think it’s not a one-meeting deal,” Trump said in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is visiting Washington to iron out the details of the summit to be held in Singapore.
When asked how many days he would be willing to stay in Singapore to discuss issues with Kim, Trump answered, “One, two, three, depending on what happens.”
Trump went on to say that he believes he will determine very quickly whether or not Kim is serious about addressing the US demands, which include full denuclearization, Efe reported.
“I don’t think I have to prepare very much,” Trump said. “It’s about attitude. It’s about willingness to get things done.”
The US President went on to say that “I think I’ve been prepared for this summit for a long time, as has the other side. … So this isn’t a question of preparation, it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen.”
“They have to de-nuke,” Trump said regarding the Kim regime. “If they don’t denuclearize that will not be acceptable. And we cannot take sanctions off.”
Despite the on-off-on character of the summit — with Trump cancelling the meeting two weeks ago but word coming out a couple of days later that it was back on again — the White House in recent days has expressed optimism that the summit will lead to Pyongyang abandoning its nuclear programme.
Kim had expressed his willingness to give up his nuclear arms during the summit held by North and South Korea on their mutual border on April 27, but he does not want that requirement to be unilaterally imposed and prefers a process of gradual disarmament.
Trump said that at a minimum he wants the current negotiations to be the beginning of a good relationship between Pyongyang and Seoul.
The two Koreas have been in a technical state of war since 1953, given that the 1950-1953 conflict on the peninsula ended in a cease-fire rather than with a formal peace treaty.