WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was possible he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could sign an agreement to end the Korean War at their June 12 meeting in Singapore and that he would someday like to normalize relations with Pyongyang.
“Well it could be, we could sign an agreement, as you know that would be the first step … but yes … we’re looking at it, we’re talking about it with a lot of other people … that’s probably the easy part, the hard part remains after that,” Trump said in answer to a question at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The prospect of North Korean leader visit if summit successful
President Donald Trump on Thursday held out the prospect of inviting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the White House if he deemed next week’s summit a success while also signaling he was willing to walk away if he thought talks did not go well.
At a White House news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump also repeated what he said last week that it was possible he and Kim could sign an agreement to end the 1950-53 Korean War, which was concluded only with a truce, not a peace treaty.
“We could sign an agreement, as you know that would be the first step … We’re looking at it, we’re talking about it with a lot of other people,” Trump told reporters. “That’s probably the easy part. The hard part remains after that.”
Trump added that he hoped someday U.S. relations with Kim’s secretive Pyongyang government could be normalized.
The main issue for the June 12 summit in Singapore is the U.S. demand for North Korea to abandon a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States.
North Korea has rejected giving up its arsenal unilaterally and defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against what it sees as U.S. aggression. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War.