Trump signals timeline for North Korea summit could slip

Trump signals timeline for North Korea summit could slip
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit MORE said on Monday his planned nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could take place in May or early June, an acknowledgement the timeline for the talks could slip. 

“We’ll be meeting with them sometime in May or early June,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “I think there'll be great respect paid by both parties and hopefully we'll be able to make a deal on the denuking of North Korea.”

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South Korean officials previously said Trump had agreed to meet Kim “by May,” but the White House never officially set a timetable for talks. 

A meeting between the U.S. president and the leader of North Korea would be unprecedented and Trump’s surprise decision in March to agree to talks set officials scrambling to arrange the high-stakes sit down. 

Trump expressed hope that the discussion would result in North Korea giving up its growing nuclear arsenal, a move Pyongyang said on Sunday it is prepared to put on the table. 

“They’ve said so; we’ve said so,” the president said. “Hopefully, it will be a relationship that’s much different than it’s been for many, many years.”

While details of the meeting remain up in the air, the president’s comments underscore that he is committed to sitting down with Kim. 

“We have a meeting that is being set up with North Korea. So that will be very exciting, I think, for the world. I think it’s going to be a very exciting thing for the world,” he said. 

Trump thus far has had a tumultuous relationship with the reclusive North Korean leader. Last year, Trump threatened to bring “fire and fury” on Kim’s country if it continued its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.

White House officials have said North Korea must commit to dismantling its nuclear program and ending weapons testing in order for talks to be productive.