Donald Trump: Time and place set for North Korea meeting

Plans for summit follow months of angry exchanges over testing of North Korean atomic weapons and long-range missiles.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures before boarding Marine One to travel to Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington
Trump is expected to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons [Matej Leskovsek/Reuters]

Donald Trump says the time and place for his much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been decided, and will shortly be made public.

Earlier this week, the US president suggested that the demilitarised zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea would be an excellent venue for the planned summit, but that Singapore was also a possible site.

“We now have a date and we have a location. We’ll be announcing it soon,” Trump said as he left the White House on a trip to Texas on Friday.

Plans for a meeting between Trump and Kim follow months of angry exchanges between the two over Pyongyang’s testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, including some theoretically capable of reaching the US mainland.

But a surprising about-turn by Kim in recent months has raised hopes of a turning point in the region.

Seoul and Pyongyang have remained technically at war since the 1950s but South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim agreed at a landmark summit last week to work towards a permanent treaty to replace a 65-year-old armistice.

Gathering momentum

Preparations for the Trump-Kim meeting have gathered further momentum since the Korean summit.

Trump is expected to push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons at the meeting.

He also hinted on Friday at progress in winning the release of three Americans held in North Korea.

“We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages. I think you’re going to see very good things,” Trump said.

The US has been demanding the North free Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Dong-chul and reports say the two sides were close to reaching a deal on their release.

Trump also said that he was not considering reducing the US military’s presence in South Korea as part of the negotiations.

“Troops are not on the table,” he said.

But he also said he would eventually like to bring them home.

Source: News Agencies