Trump Announces June 12 Summit With Kim Jong-Un Is Back On After North Korean Official Visits White House
Summit With North Korea On June 12th Is Back On
Trump said on May 24 that the summit with Kim would not happen due to the “tremendous anger” and “open hostility” that North Korea had shown toward the U.S. On Friday, however, a top North Korean official — who according to several reports is the vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party’s central committee — visited the White House and met with Trump for about an hour.
“We’re going to deal,” Trump told reporters after the meeting with the official was over. “I think you’re going to have a very positive result in the end. We will see what we will see.”
The summit was mainly intended for the U.S. to convince North Korea to reduce its nuclear arsenal. However, Kim’s government threatened to withdraw from the meeting due to a series of joint military exercises the U.S. and South Korea held. North Korean officials — which in May destroyed the country’s only known nuclear test site — also voiced anger over comments made by top members of Trump’s administration, particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
In an interview, Bolton — a war hawk who previously served as ambassador to the U.N. under George W. Bush — said North Korea should look to the “Libya model” for denuclearization. Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi was killed by militant rebels following an uprising in 2011, and the North African country’s regime ultimately collapsed.
Speculation had recently arisen as to whether Trump would receive a Nobel Peace prize for helping to orchestrate the meeting with North Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in even reportedly said that Trump would deserve the award should the summit occur. Kim and the South Korean president recently met at the demilitarized zone in another historic encounter.
Kim Yong Chol, the North Korean official who traveled to Washington to meet with Trump, is reportedly the most senior member of the nation’s authoritarian government to enter the White House in 18 years. The visit is believed to have assuaged fears that tensions between the U.S. and North Korea will escalate to the point of nuclear war, after the latter country conducted several missile tests in 2017. Trump and Kim have had a heated relationship since the American president took office, trading threats and insults.