President Donald Trump disputed reports that he had given too much to North Korea in order to meet with Kim Jong-un to start negotiations for denuclearization of the peninsula.
“I gave up nothing, I’m here, I haven’t slept for 25 hours,” he said, pointing out that he and his advisors had worked “around the clock” to reach a deal with North Korea.
Trump made his remarks in a press conference with reporters in Singapore after the meeting before leaving the site to return to the United States.
The president said that the meeting was productive, pointing to the statement from North Korea that they would denuclearize, their commitment to halt nuclear and missile tests, freeing three American hostages, and getting the ability to recover remains of US soldiers lost in North Korea.
“Only a person that dislikes Donald Trump would say that I’ve agreed to make a big commitment,” he said, adding that the only thing he gave up was his time to meet with Kim Jong-un.
Trump also dismissed the idea that he had given Kim a propaganda victory, simply by meeting with the dictator.
“I will do whatever it takes to make the world a safer place,” he said.
But Trump admitted that it would be difficult to ensure that North Korea was serious in their commitment to denuclearize.
“All I can say is they want to make a deal,” he said. “That’s what I do. My whole life has been deals. I have done great at it.”
But the president admitted that there was a limit to how far discussions could go, despite meeting with Kim for over four hours.
“I think he will do these things,” Trump said, and added frankly, “I may be wrong. I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’
He added lightly, “I don’t know I’ll ever admit that. I’ll find some excuse.”