Asia

Trump plays down chances of quick North Korea breakthrough, talks wrap up

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol arrives at a hotel in New York

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol arrives at a hotel in New York, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Yara Bayoumy and Steve Holland

NEW YORK/ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Thursday played down the chances of a quick breakthrough in talks with North Korea about its nuclear arsenal, as the top U.S. diplomat and a senior official from Pyongyang wrapped up two days of negotiations.

Trump, in a brief interview with Reuters aboard Air Force One on the way to Texas, said he was still hoping to hold an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.

“I’d like to see it done in one meeting,” he said. “But often times that’s not the way deals work. There’s a very good chance that it won’t be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings. But it’ll get done at some point.”

It was not clear if Trump meant he would need a second summit with Kim to reach the U.S. goal of persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms, or if he believed more lower-level talks were needed.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol concluded two days of meetings in New York on Thursday aimed at clearing the way for the summit. State Department officials said the talks went well and progress was made.

Trump said the North Korean envoy will “be coming most likely tomorrow to the White House to present me with a letter from Kim Jong Un.”

North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have been a source of world tension for decades, has made advances in missile technology in recent years but Trump has sworn not to allow it to develop nuclear missiles that could hit the United States.

He wants North Korea to “denuclearize,” meaning to get rid of its nuclear arms, but the leadership in Pyongyang is believed to regard nuclear weapons as crucial to its survival and has rejected unilaterally disarming.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Daniel Bases in New York and Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu, Richard Cowan and David Brunnstrom in Washington Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Robert Birsel and Bill Trott)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s