Talks with Kim Jong in May or early June: Trump

RSTV Bureau
File photo of US President Donald Trump. PTI/AP

File photo of US President Donald Trump.

United States President Donald Trump will be meeting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un next month or in early June. Speaking at the White House, Trump told that a historic summit between the Cold War rivals is still on track.

The US President also expressed hope that relations — which for a century have been marked by war, animosity and a perilous arms race — could be put on a friendlier footing.

He told reporters before a cabinet meeting that the summit would be sometime in “May or early June” — letting the original May time line slip a little, but confirming the meeting is still on.

“I think there will be great respect paid by both parties and hopefully there will be a deal on denuking,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be a relationship that will be much different than it has been for many, many years.”

After Trump’s shock March announcement that he had accepted an invitation to meet the reclusive North Korean leader, there have been doubts about whether the talks will go ahead.

For decades, North Korea has dangled the prospect of denuclearization — freezing its nuclear weapons programs — but only if the US withdraws its forces from South Korea. That would be a non-starter for almost any US president, or for Seoul.

But Kim’s recent trip to China and a series of back-channel contacts between the US and North Korea have raised hopes that a deal may just be possible.

(With inputs from Agencies)