After Meeting with North Korea Official, Donald Trump Says Kim Jong-un Summit Is Happening

Former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol meets with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Washington. Chol has presented Trump a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump confirmed that his scheduled June 12 meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore would take place after all, after meeting with a North Korean official for over an hour at the White House on Friday.

“I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn’t have it,” Trump told reporters outside the White House after the meeting. “I think we’re going to have a relationship, and it will start on June 12.”

The president briefed reporters at length after meeting in the Oval Office with Kim Yong-chol, the highest-ranking official to visit the White House since a meeting with Bill Clinton in 2000.

“I think they want to do something, and if it’s possible, so do we,” he said.

Trump downplayed the notion that a deal with North Korea would be reached quickly.

“It’s a process. We’re not going to go in and sign something on June 12,” he said. “We never were.”

The president said he believed that Kim Jong-un was committed to denuclearization but that it would take time.

He described the upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un as a “getting-to-know-you meeting plus.”

“I think that could be a positive thing,” he said.

He said he discussed a number of issues with the North Korean official but did not discuss human rights.

Trump also stated that he did not open the letter delivered by Kim from Kim Jong-un, despite assuring reporters that it was “interesting,” suggesting he might share its contents at some point.

“I may be in for a big surprise, folks,” he said lightly, promising to read the letter when he returned to the Oval Office.

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