- US President Donald Trump announced the time and place for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
- He said Thursday that the meeting would take place in Singapore on June 12.
- The meeting has been preceded by a flurry of diplomacy between the two nations.
- Singapore is a surprise choice. Mongolia and the Korean DMZ had previously been suggested.
US President Donald Trump has announced the place and time for his historic summit with Kim Jong Un.
The meeting, the highest-level contact ever between the US and North Korea, is set to take place in Singapore on June 12.
Trump announced the details in a tweet on Thursday morning:
The meeting will be the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
The specifics of the meeting were finalised in the past few days by Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who returned in the early hours of Thursday from a face-to-face meeting with Kim.
It has been accompanied by a flurry of diplomatic activity. Early Thursday morning Pompeo brought back with him three US citizens who had been detained in North Korea, but were released at Trump’s request.
That visit to North Korea was Pompeo’s second in a month, which in itself represents a drastic step up in the level of official contact between the North Korean and US governments.
Kim has repeatedly proposed talks with world leaders about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which was a US precondition for talks. Kim has asked for few concessions in return for his promise to denuclearize.
Trump’s administration has laid out a number of ambitious goals for the negotiations, which include permanent, irreversible, verifiable denuclearization of North Korea before sanctions are lifted.
Singapore had not been widely suggested in advance as a likely location for the summit.
But a number of factors make it a logical choice: It has diplomatic relations with both countries, hosts a North Korean embassy, has a good position in Southeast Asia, and can play the part of a neutral third party.
Other candidates had been Mongolia, also a neutral country, and the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
Trump reportedly said yesterday that the DMZ was no longer being considered, even though he had suggested it himself only a few weeks ago.
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