He can’t win, no matter the outcome of these conversations with the North Korean government, but that doesn’t seem to phase President Trump.
He really does seem to be searching for a way to do whatever is best for our nation, even if that means getting some negative publicity in the media.
No one believes that Kim Jong Un is simply going to abandon his nuclear ambitions, or that North Korea will suddenly become a state that values human rights and freedom… but if we don’t try, how will things ever change?
Which is why, President Trump will be meeting with officials from the North Korean and South Korean government in Singapore on June 12th.
THE PRESIDENT: The meeting went very well. We’ll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore. It went very well. It’s really a get-to-know-you kind of a situation.
Mike has spent two days doing this. We’ve gotten to know their people very well. And we will — you people are going to have to travel because you’ll be in Singapore on June 12th.
And I think it’ll be a process. It’s not — I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it’s going to be a process. But the relationships are building, and that’s a very positive thing.
Q Mr. President, what’s your sense of what the North Koreans are willing to do on the issue of denuclearization? Are they looking at it all at once?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that. They want other things along the line. They want to develop as a country. That’s going to happen. I have no doubt. Japan is involved, as you know. And South Korea is very much involved. We’re involved in terms of getting everything. Everybody wants the United States. So we’re going to help in the process very much. Without us, it wouldn’t happen.
But I think that you see a lot of very positive things, including with China. I think you see a lot of very positive things happening with President Xi, who has helped me quite a bit with this. So we’ll see where it leads.
But we’re going to be — June 12th, we’ll be in Singapore. It will be a beginning. I don’t say and I’ve never said it happens in one meeting. You’re talking about years of hostility; years of problems; years of, really, hatred between so many different nations. But I think you’re going to have a very positive result in the end. Not from one meeting, but you’re going to have a very positive…
Q Do you believe Kim is committed to denuclearization?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I do think so. He’d like to see it happen. He wants to be careful. He wants to be, you know — he’s not going to run and do things. But I told him, to be honest with you, look, we have sanctions on; they’re very powerful sanctions. We would not take sanctions off unless they did that. But the sanctions are very powerful. You’ve seen how powerful in other ways. You’re going to see how powerful sanctions are when it comes to Iran. You see what that’s doing to Iran.
So we have sanctions on. And at a certain point, I’ll tell you what, I look forward to the day when I can take the sanctions off of North Korea…
Q Mr. President, how would you describe the state of relations now between the United States and North Korea after your meetings today?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think they’re okay. I mean, I think they’re good. Is it like the relationships we have with a couple of other countries? Probably not. Right? But I think the relationship we have right now with North Korea is as good as it’s been in a long time.
They had no relationship under the previous administration. There was nothing. It was nothing. They were explaining, it was just a “nothing.” Nothing was done.
Hey, folks, this should not be up to me. This should have been handled a long time ago. This got to a very critical point. This should have been handled many years ago — not only by President Obama, but by other Presidents that preceded me. This shouldn’t be done now, this should have been done years ago.
Q Do you plan to offer the North Koreans economic aid at the June 12th summit?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, what’s going to happen is South Korea will do that. No, I don’t think the United States is going to have to spend. I think South Korea will do it. I think China — I think, frankly, China will help out.
I think that Japan will help out. No, I don’t see the United States spending a lot of money. You know, we have three hostages. How much money did I spend for the hostages?
And, look, we’re very far away. We are very far away. Those places are very close. It’s their neighborhood. We’re thousands — we’re 6,000 miles away. So I’ve already told South Korea, I said, “You know, you’re going to have to get ready.” And Japan, also.
And I think they really want to see something great happen. Japan does, South Korea does, and I think China does. But that’s their neighborhood; it’s not our neighborhood…
Q Are you willing to end the South Korean War on June 12th, during the summit?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we could — that could happen. That could happen. We talked about it.
Q Tell us more.
THE PRESIDENT: We talked about ending the war. And you know, this war has been going on — it’s got to be the longest war — almost 70 years, right? And there is a possibility of something like that. That’s more of a signing of a document that it’s very important in one way. Historically, it’s very important. But we’ll see.
And we did discuss that — the ending of the Korean War. Can you believe that we’re talking about the ending of the Korean War? You’re talking about 70 years.