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.