WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Thursday said the details of his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be announced next week – and that a date and place had been settled.
"We’re going to announce it very soon. We’ll be announcing early next week and they very much want the meeting," Trump told reporters in the White House.
"I think most of you know where the location is. I don’t think it’s a great secret," he added, touting what he called the "tremendous progress" made with Pyongyang.
Trump held a historic first summit with Kim in Singapore last June to try to persuade the North Korean strongman to give up the country’s nuclear weapons.
The American president has come under fire at home from critics who say that Kim has not taken enough concrete steps toward denuclearisation to be given a second summit.
The US special representative on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said in a speech Thursday that the United States remains "clear-eyed" and wants a firm accounting of Pyongyang’s weapons programs as part of any deal.
"Before the process of denuclearisation can be final, we must have a complete understanding of the full extent of the North Korean WMD and missile programs through a comprehensive declaration," Biegun said.
"We must reach agreement on expert access and monitoring mechanisms of key sites to international standards, and ultimately ensure the removal or destruction of stockpiles of fissile material, weapons, missiles, launchers and other weapons of mass destruction."
If North Korea follows through, "the United States, will, in return, exceed anything previously thought possible," Biegun said.
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Tuesday that North Korea would resist pressure because its leaders see nuclear weapons capability as "critical to regime survival."
Trump on Thursday pushed back against intelligence leaders who publicly disagree with his foreign policy positions on North Korea, Iran and Syria.
"I disagree with certain things that they said, I think I’m right," he said. "Time will prove me right probably." — AFP