Official: Trump to urge North Korea to dismantle nuclear program in return for sanctions relief
President Trump plans to tell North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he must dismantle his country’s nuclear program quickly before he is willing to grant Pyongyang sanctions relief, an administration official told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
“When the president says that he will not make the mistakes of the past, that means the U.S. will not be making substantial concessions, such as lifting sanctions, until North Korea has substantially dismantled its nuclear programs,” a senior Trump administration official told the Journal.
“If North Korea is willing to move quickly to denuclearize, then the sky is the limit,” the official added. “All sorts of good things can happen.”
Kim announced on Saturday local time that North Korea will shut down its nuclear test site and suspend long-range missile tests, a move Trump touted as “big progress.”
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
However, Kim hinted that North Korea would not be giving up its nuclear weapons.
At a meeting in Pyongyang, Kim tried to persuade CIA Director Mike Pompeo to agree to have the U.S. and North Korea make multiple synchronized concessions over a period of time that could stretch years.
However, the Trump administration reportedly prefers a plan in which both sides make major concessions early.
Trump and Kim are expected to meet face to face at a summit set to take place in May or June.