Saturday 19 October 2019

Trump tries to dampen expectation ahead of second Kim summit

Donald Trump: Leaving today for the meeting with Kim in Vietnam. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Donald Trump: Leaving today for the meeting with Kim in Vietnam. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Kim Ripoll in Washington

US President Donald Trump is trying to manage expectations for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, predicting a "continuation of the progress" made last time.

Mr Trump tweeted yesterday that he was leaving early today for the meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, adding a tantalising nod to "Denuclearisation?"

He also said Mr Kim knows that "without nuclear weapons, his country could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the World."

Their first meeting, in Singapore in June, produced a vaguely worded commitment from North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme. Heading into this week's summit, Mr Trump has said that North Korea has not tested any nuclear weapons in months and that as long as that testing has ceased, he's in no rush.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on 'Fox News Sunday' that he was hoping for a "substantive step forward". But, he cautioned, "it may not happen, but I hope that it will".

"President Trump has also said this is going to take time. There may have to be another summit. We may not get everything done this week," Mr Pompeo said.

Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who serves on the foreign relations committee, expressed concerns about Mr Trump's negotiating efforts yesterday on CBS, saying the president must be "careful" with what he offers.

Mr Markey said: "Nothing is clear, and I think as a result we could run the risk that Kim is given concessions which are not accompanied by real concessions that the US is receiving in return from Kim."

Mr Trump pushed back against his critics on Twitter, saying: "So funny to watch people who have failed for years, they got NOTHING, telling me how to negotiate with North Korea. But thanks anyway!"

Irish Independent

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