Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | kim jong un | denuclearization | nuclear weapons | diplomacy

Trump Confirms Spring Meeting With North Korea's Kim to Come

Trump Confirms Spring Meeting With North Korea's Kim to Come
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smile during their meeting at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 April 2018 04:23 PM

President Donald Trump on Tuesday reaffirmed plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — likely "in early June" at the latest — and said meetings ahead of the sit-down are already taking place at “very high levels.”

His revelation came during a joint appearance with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's luxury private club in Mar-a-Lago in Florida ahead of two days of meetings between the leaders.

"We will, I am sure, at the outset we are going to get along," Trump said of the two days of discussions with Abe. "When it's all over, we are going to get along even better."

"Japan and ourselves are locked and very unified on the subject of North Korea," he said.

"We will probably be depending on various meetings and conversations we'll be having meetings with Kim Jong Un very soon," he continued. "That will be taking place probably in early June or a little before that, assuming things go well."

"It's possible things won't go well and we won't have the meetings and we'll just continue to go along this very strong path that we have taken," he added.

Speaking to reporters during a meeting with Abe, Trump said the talks were held at “very high levels,” The Hill reported, noting that it’s rare for senior U.S. officials to have direct talks with North Korea.

Trump said he plans to have in depth talks with Abe on trade, North Korea, and "our military," noting "Japan is buying a tremendous amount of military equipment from the United States, which is good. And as you know, we are buying a lot of cars and a lot of other things from Japan."

"But we are each buying a lot but we still have to talk about trade and the prime minister understands that."

"We're going to sneak out tomorrow morning and play a round of golf, if possible," he vowed.

Top Trump administration officials have said major concessions, including a possible exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs, could be on the table for Japan during the meetings.

The meetings, they say, could test whether the fond personal relationship the two leaders have forged on the golf course and over meetings and phone calls has chilled following Trump's recent moves, including his decision not to exempt Japan from new steel and aluminum tariffs.

White House officials suggested Trump was open to acceding to Abe's hopes to obtain a waiver to the protectionist measure, which went into effect last month. Most other key U.S. allies, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, and Mexico have been granted exemptions.

Issuing Japan the waiver to the Trump-ordered sanctions or opening negotiations on a new trade agreement with Japan are "all on the table," Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said Tuesday. "That's why this is such an important meeting."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, likely "in early June" at the latest, are still on tap, President Donald Trump said Tuesday from Mar-a-Lago.
kim jong un, denuclearization, nuclear weapons, diplomacy
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 04:23 PM
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