U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he expected to see the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while pointing out that he had no pressing schedule for that objective.
Trump told the press Tuesday that he was looking forward to meeting Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), next week in Hanoi, Vietnam. “I think a lot of things will come out of it,” he said. Trump said he would like to see the ultimate denuclearization of the DPRK, but at the same time noted that he was “in no particular rush” given that the sanctions remain in effect and Pyongyang has refrained from nuclear and missile testing. “As long as there’s no testing I’m in no rush, if there’s testing that’s another deal … I hope that very positive things are going to happen,” he said.
Trump also said he discussed “probably every aspect” of the second U.S.-DPRK summit with his Republic of Korea (ROK) counterpart Moon Jae-in during a phone conversation the same day. According to the Office of President Moon, the two leaders intensively discussed ways to cooperate for the success of the upcoming second U.S.-DPRK summit over the phone for about 35 minutes. The ROK leader said his country was ready to assume any role, if Trump demands, to offer corresponding measures to facilitate denuclearization on the peninsula. Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for DPRK affairs, was on his way to Hanoi in preparation for the summit between Trump and Kim, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said Tuesday at a press briefing.
Trump announced on Feb. 8 that his second meeting with Kim would take place in Hanoi on Feb. 27-28. He met with Kim for the first time in Singapore in June 2018, reaching several consensuses which have led to the improvement of U.S.-DPRK relations. However, differences on such key issues as the road map of denuclearization, U.S. lifting sanctions and whether to issue a war-ending declaration still haunt the two sides and hinder negotiations.