Trump, Kim Jong Un to meet next month in Singapore

Trump, Kim Jong Un to meet next month in Singapore

May 10 (UPI) — President Donald Trump announced Thursday his highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will happen in about a month.

Trump revealed the summit will occur June 12 in Singapore.

“We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” he tweeted Thursday.

The meeting has been in the works for weeks, and the leaders initially hoped it would happen by the end of May.

The summit will be the first-ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton met with Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, and father Kim Jong Il in 1994 and 2009, respectively — long after they’d left the White House.

Although U.S. officials considered meeting in the Korean demilitarized zone or Mongolia, Singapore ultimately won out because of its neutrality and infrastructure.

“Singapore wasn’t my first choice for the North Korea summit location. But Singapore is a very valued U.S. partner and a remarkable city-state that punches many times above its weight. This is a good choice,” Mintaro Oba, a former state department official who worked in the negotiations, said.

A face-to-face meeting with Kim would help fulfill a campaign promise from Trump to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

For North Korea, key issues may be the lifting of economic sanctions and the presence of 30,000 U.S. military personnel in South Korea.

“We will see if we can do something,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “I think we’ll have a very big success.”

Trump’s announcement came just hours after three Americans who’d been held in North Korea returned to the United States, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland early Thursday. They were greeted by the president and first lady Melania Trump.

The men — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk (also known as Tony Kim) and Kim Hak-song — flew with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he met with the North Korean leader.