US President Donald Trump said Tuesday a fresh summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may have been mentioned in letters he exchanged with Kim and they will meet “at some point” ahead of his visit to Seoul this weekend.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said his recent letter to Kim was a “nice” response to Kim’s birthday message to him. Trump turned 73 on June 14.
US President Donald Trump talks to the media after signing an Executive Order Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, on Tuesday. (UPI-Yonhap)
Asked if a summit was mentioned in the exchange of letters with Kim, he said, “Maybe there was, but we, you know, at some point, we’ll do that.”
While neither leader has disclosed details of the letters, experts have speculated that they may have discussed a potential meeting between themselves or working-level officials to kick-start negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program.
The possibility of an imminent US-North Korea summit appeared slim when a US administration official said Monday that Trump had no plans to meet with Kim when he travels to the South for his two-day state visit on Saturday and Sunday.
A presidential official in Seoul also said Tuesday that a trilateral meeting of President Moon Jae-in, Trump and Kim is not currently planned.
However, there is still a chance that other officials who will accompany Trump on the trip, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and Special Representative for North Korea Steven Biegun, who will arrive here Thursday, may meet with their North Korean counterparts.
The US president is considering a visit to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, possibly on Sunday when he is to hold a summit with Moon.
Since a second summit between Trump and Kim ended without a deal in Hanoi, Vietnam, in late February, negotiations for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula have hit an impasse.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org