President Donald Trump meets with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, 2018. White House photo.
President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday he will meet for the second time with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.
He said the meeting is part of a “bold new diplomacy” effort to ease tensions and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
“Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months,” Trump said. “If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed.”
When the two leaders met last year in Singapore, Trump unexpectedly agreed to halt exercises in South Korea—a move that sent regional leaders and military commanders scrambling to find a way forward.
Stephen Biegun, Trump’s special representative for North Korea, said the two countries will agree to the terms of the meeting before it takes place. However, he acknowledged in a speech at Stanford University that North Korea has yet to provide the US with an inventory of its nuclear arsenal, reported USA Today.
On Tuesday, Trump said there is still “much work … to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
Also during the State of the Union, Trump opened the door to a follow-on to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that may not only include Russia, but also other countries, such as China.
The US and Soviet Union signed the INF Treaty in 1987 to ban all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, nuclear or conventional, that can strike targets between 500 and 5,500 kilometers away. Trump said that while the US “followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms.” As a result, he announced plans last week to withdraw from the treaty over the next six months.
“Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t, in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far,” Trump said.