The North Korea nuclear summit is back on.
President Donald Trump announced the decision after a historic Oval Office meeting Friday with Kim Yong Chol, who is the top deputy to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We’ll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore,” Trump told reporters at the White House. But he also said that it would be hard to reach a deal from a single summit in less than two weeks.
“I don’t see that happening,” he said. “I told him I think you could have probably [other meetings].”
Trump’s original plan to sit down with Kim Jong Un in Singapore June 12 was temporarily derailed after Kim Jong Un interpreted top U.S. officials’ public discussion of following the “Libya model” in North Korea as a threat. Trump wrote a letter canceling the summit May 24, but held out hope it could be rescheduled.
At a minimum, Trump is eager to convince Kim Jong Un to curtail his capacity to reach the United States with nuclear weapons, and the North Koreans want relief from crippling U.S. and international sanctions. A State Department official said Thursday that the U.S. is still looking for an agreement from Kim to give up all of his nuclear capabilities.
For Trump, who has mused about winning a Nobel Peace Prize if he’s able to cut a deal with Kim Jong Un, the summit is an opportunity to show that he can work toward nonproliferation in the shadow of his decision to walk away from the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by President Barack Obama’s administration.
For Kim, it’s a chance to start bringing his isolated nation back into what western diplomats like to call the community of nations. As Trump has pointed out, that could be a huge economic boon for North Korea.