Geum Yi

Trump cites ‘tremendous progress’ with N. Korea

September 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) — U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that there has been “tremendous progress” with North Korea following another summit between the two Koreas’ leaders.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Pyongyang on Tuesday and Wednesday and jointly reaffirmed their commitment to make the peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Kim committed to take additional steps to dismantle the North’s ballistic missile programs and expressed his willingness to shut down its key nuclear facility if the United States takes reciprocal steps.

“We had very good news from North Korea, South Korea. They met, and we had some great responses,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for hurricane-hit North Carolina. “I got a tremendous letter from Kim Jong-un. As you know, it was delivered three days ago. We’re making tremendous progress with respect to North Korea.”

This AP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)

This AP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)

It wasn’t immediately clear which letter the president was referring to.

The White House said early last week that Trump had received a letter from Kim in which the North Korean leader requested a second meeting between the two. Planning for that meeting is already underway, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Trump and Kim held a historic summit in Singapore in June.

The North Korean leader committed to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S., but progress on the deal stalled as each side demanded the other move first.

Moon went into his third summit with Kim amid pressure to broker a breakthrough in the impasse.

“Well, we’ll see what he’s looking at. We’ll see. But in the meantime, we’re talking. It’s very calm. He’s calm. I’m calm. So we’ll see what happens. Okay?” Trump said, referring to Kim.

Asked if he will be meeting Kim soon, he responded, “We will be.”

Writing on Twitter hours earlier, Trump relayed the outcome of the inter-Korean summit.

“Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts,” he wrote. “In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing. Hero remains to continue being returned home to the United States.”

He called the two Koreas’ push to jointly host the 2032 Olympics “very exciting.”