- President Donald Trump on Friday said he hopes he can convince North Korea to agree to total denuclearization “for the world,” but also acknowledged he might not be able to succeed in the endeavour.
- Trump said if he “can’t” get North Korea to denuclearize it “will be a very tough time for a lot of countries.”
- The president is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the rogue state’s nuclear program sometime in the near future.
President Donald Trump on Friday said he hopes he can convince North Korea to agree to total denuclearization “for the world,” but also acknowledged he might not be able to succeed in the endeavour.
During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump said former President Barack Obama warned him North Korea would be the toughest issue he’d face during his tenure. Trump said he believed the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons should have been tackled by previous administrations “years ago” but added he had a “responsibility” to deal with it. The president pledged not to repeat the “mistakes” of his predecessors on the matter.
Trump went on to say that if he “can’t” get North Korea to denuclearize it “will be a very tough time for a lot of countries.”
“This is beyond the US,” he said. “This is a world problem.”
"This should not have been left for me to handle. But we will handle it. We're handling it well," President Trump says on North Korea. pic.twitter.com/nlOSEYcoX7
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) April 27, 2018
The president is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the rogue state’s nuclear program sometime in the near future. When asked on Friday whether he’s already spoken with Kim, Trump declined to answer. Trump also said two countries were being considered for the highly anticipated meeting but did not offer any specifics.
“Maximum pressure will continue until denuclearization occurs. I look forward to our meeting. It should be quite something,” the president said.
At Friday’s press conference, Trump also acknowledged that his relationship with Kim has evolved drastically since last year, when the two world leaders frequently traded insults and threats from across the world as the reclusive nation conducted a series of missile tests that enraged the international community. Trump said he and Kim have “a very good working relationship.”
President Trump will not say if he has spoken directly to Kim Jong Un or if he plans to, but says they have "a very good working relationship": "Things have changed very radically from a few months ago, you know the name-calling" https://t.co/BzVjMRGmx4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 27, 2018
Earlier on Friday, Kim travelled to South Korea for a historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. During the meeting, the two leaders pledged that the Korean Peninsula would be rid of nuclear weapons, but vital details remain up in the air. Kim and Moon signed a statement that said, “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
The leaders also agreed to work toward formally ending the Korean War with a peace treaty. The Korean War was fought between 1950 and 1953 and ended in an armistice – hence, North and South Korea have technically been at war since that time.
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