Trump Says US Has Had High-Level Talks With North Korea
PALM BEACH, Fla.—President
said Tuesday his administration has had direct talks with North Korea at “very high levels,” as U.S. officials seek to negotiate the terms of a meeting between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un.
Mr. Trump said he expects the meeting to happen “probably in early June” or before. The U.S. has had no diplomatic relations with North Korea, and Mr. Trump would be the first sitting president to meet with the country’s leader.
Speaking alongside Japanese Prime Minister
at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida resort, the president said the U.S. and Japan were “very unified on the subject of North Korea.”
“We’ll be having meetings with Kim Jong Un very soon,” Mr. Trump said. He said the meeting would take place by early June “assuming things go well.” He added: “It’s possible things won’t go well and we won’t have the meetings, and we’ll just continue to go on this very strong path we have taken.”
North Korea earlier this month told the U.S. that Mr. Kim is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, clearing the way for a summit meeting between the North Korean leader and Mr. Trump, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials didn’t say when and how that assurance was delivered, but U.S. and North Korean officials have been in communication.
Mr. Trump on Tuesday also referred to talks between North and South Korea, which he said had his “blessing.”
“They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war,“ the president said. ”People don’t realize the Korean War has not ended. It’s going on right now. And they are discussing an end to the war. Subject to a deal they have my blessing and they do have my blessing to discuss that.”
Mr. Abe, following Mr. Trump’s remarks, said Japan had “observed major change in terms of North Korea’s behavior” since the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and credited Mr. Trump for the shift. “Your stance made it possible to achieve this major change,” Mr. Abe said.
The remarks came during a two-day summit between Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe. The two are expected to discuss a range of issues, including trade policy.