Donald Trump says he ‘doesn’t have to prepare very much’ for Kim Jong-un meeting because ‘it’s about attitude’
Trump made the remarks while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of next week’s Singapore summit with the North Korean leader
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he is not worried about preparing for next week’s meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
“I think I’m very well prepared,” he said, “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude. It’s about willingness to get things done.”
He added: “I think I’ve been prepared for this summit for a long time, as has the other side. I think they’ve been preparing for a long time also. So this isn’t a question of preparation, it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen.”
“They have to denuke,” Trump said of North Korea. “We cannot take sanctions off.”
Asked how many days the summit would last, Trump responded, “One, two, three, depending on what happens.”
Trump, who was hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office for consultations before the Singapore summit, described the Kim meeting as “much more than a photo-op”. Abe had requested Thursday’s meeting with Trump to elevate his country’s concerns about the summit.
The US president predicted that he’ll know very quickly whether Kim is serious about dealing with US demands.
As for the summit sidelines, Trump said that he won’t be playing golf with Kim and that, despite press reports, former NBA star – and friend of Kim – Dennis Rodman isn’t on his guest list.
“I like him,” Trump said of Rodman. “He’s a nice guy. No, he was not invited.”
Abe is pushing Trump to raise the issue of Japanese abductees held in North Korea and is seeking to ensure that Trump’s efforts to negotiate an agreement with Kim don’t harm Japan’s interests.
US allies in the region have expressed concern that Trump’s push to denuclearise the Korean peninsula could ignore the North’s sophisticated ballistic missile and chemical weapons programmes.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha next week in Seoul to brief them on the outcome of the US-North Korea summit. Pompeo said he will also stop in Beijing.
“I will provide them with an update and underscore the importance of fully implementing all sanctions that are imposed on North Korea,” he said at a press briefing.
According to the State Department, Pompeo will travel to Seoul from Wednesday to Thursday for talks with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts. Pompeo will also visit Beijing on Thursday for meetings with senior Chinese officials, it said.
Additional reporting by Reuters and Kyodo