The Latest: Trump: US is seeking to free Americans in NKorea

The Latest: Trump: US is seeking to free Americans in NKorea
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is “fighting very diligently” to win freedom for three Americans detained in North Korea.

Trump said Wednesday that he thinks there’s a “good chance of doing it” and that “we’re having a good dialogue” with the North Koreans. He did not answer directly when asked if he intends to sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un at their proposed summit if the Americans are still being detained.

Trump says he hopes to have a successful meeting with Kim, but he’ll cancel if he doesn’t think it will be successful.

The president also says he will “respectfully leave” the meeting after it starts if he feels it won’t be fruitful.

Trump commented in Florida during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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6:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the United States will be doing “everything possible” to make an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “worldwide success.”

The president said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida on Wednesday that he hopes to see the day when the two Koreas can live together in “safety, prosperity and peace.”

He says Japan is “a lot closer” to North Kore but adds, “We’re working on this together.”

Trump recently sent CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with the North Korean leader. Pompeo is also Trump’s nominee for secretary of state.

The president has said his own meeting with Kim could take place by early June.

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3:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently had a “great meeting” in North Korea with leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump said Wednesday from his Florida resort that Pompeo and Kim got along “really well, really great.” Trump has nominated Pompeo for secretary of state and predicted Pompeo would go down in history “as one of the great secretaries of state.”

Several Senate Democrats, along with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said they oppose Pompeo’s nomination.

Trump sought to put pressure on Paul on Wednesday, saying the senator has “never let me down” and “I don’t think he’ll let us down again.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on Pompeo’s nomination next week.

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9:35 a.m.

White House officials have cleared up some confusion over when CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea for a meeting with Kim Jong Un.

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the meeting took place “last week” and “went smoothly,” as preparations are underway for what would be a historic meeting between the U.S. and North Korean leaders.

Two White House officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive discussions, confirmed that the trip took place over Easter weekend, and not last week as Trump had tweeted. Easter was on April 1.

Trump had disclosed on Tuesday that the U.S. and North Korea were holding direct talks at “extremely high levels” in preparation for a possible summit. Trump is huddling with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his private Florida club this week to assuage Japanese concerns about the meeting.

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6:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is confirming that his CIA director met with Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) in North Korea “last week” in anticipation of their potential summit.

Trump tweets that Mike Pompeo’s (pahm-PAY’-oh’s) meeting “went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed.”

The president says summit details are being worked out and that “Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

Trump had said on Tuesday that talks between the U.S. and North Korea were underway at an “extremely high level.”

The summit is expected to take place by early June. Trump says five locations are under consideration.

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12:35 a.m.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently traveled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un, a highly unusual, secret visit undertaken as the enemy nations prepare for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim.

Two officials have confirmed the trip to The Associated Press. They are not authorized to discuss the visit publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Washington Post first reported Pompeo’s meeting with Kim, saying it took place just over two weeks ago during Easter weekend.

Trump said the U.S. and North Korea are holding direct talks at “extremely high levels” in preparation for a possible summit with Kim, expected to take place by early June.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump and Kim have not spoken directly.

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