One of the most highly anticipated international meetings of the year between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has a place and date set. Although details concerning the meeting are still private, the unprecedented peace talks could come as early as the next couple of months. While the priority of the talks will center around negotiating the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the freeing of three American hostages in North Korea is expected to also be discussed.
“We have a date, we have a location,” Trump said to a group of reporters on Friday.
The White House has said the first meeting between sitting U.S. and North Korean leaders could take place in the coming weeks. Trump is expected to push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
The demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea and Singapore are among the top choices being considered for the summit. Trump this week expressed a preference for the DMZ but also said Singapore was possible.
The Peace House at the DMZ was the venue for a meeting last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, was to discuss the summit with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, at the White House on Friday, officials said.
President Trump said this morning that a date and location has been set for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and will be announced soon.https://t.co/RbqaaGZO2w
— Security Studies Group (@SecStudiesGrp) May 4, 2018
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Thursday that if North Korea were to free the three Americans, “We certainly would see this as a sign of good will” ahead of the Trump-Kim summit.
Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House, suggested activity was under way involving the captives.
“We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the (U.S.) hostages. I think you’re going to see very good things,” Trump told reporters.
As far as early offers go, Trump has made clear that the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea is non-negotiable.
Here’s more, via Bloomberg:
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Trump didn’t reveal either the date or place of the summit.
He also expressed optimism that three Americans held in a North Korean prison would be released soon, telling reporters “a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages.”
Later, as he boarded the presidential plane Air Force One, Trump said the U.S. is “doing very well with the hostages.”
Trump heads into the meeting hoping to reach an agreement for North Korea to “denuclearize.” Trump has praised Kim’s rapid steps toward resolving the standoff and expressed optimism about the possibility of making a deal.
Trump said the withdrawal of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea is “not on the table” in the negotiations with North Korea. But, he added “I have to tell you at some point into the future, I would like to save the money. You know, we have 32,000 troops there.”