WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he had “an incredible” meeting with North Korea’s nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol and the two sides had made “a lot of progress.”
The White House announced after Friday’s talks that Trump would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February but will maintain economic sanctions on Pyongyang.
“That was an incredible meeting,” Trump told reporters of the talks.
“We’ve agreed to meet sometime, probably the end of February. We’ve picked a country but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I. We’ve made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, he said.
Despite his upbeat comments there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over US demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons programme that threatens the United States and Pyongyang’s demands for a lifting of punishing sanctions.
The first summit produced a vague commitment by Kim Jong Un to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction. Trump did not elaborate on the country chosen to host the summit, but Vietnam has been considered a leading candidate.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019