President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE said Thursday he hopes to normalize relations between the United States and North Korea, but noted such a development would happen at the end of the ongoing push to denuclearize the isolated nation.
“Normalizing relations is something that I would expect to do, I would hope to do, when everything’s complete,” Trump said during a White House press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“We would certainly like to see normalization,” he added.
JUST IN: President Trump says "would certainly like to see" normalization of relations with North Korea. pic.twitter.com/qDiJ5yG8iQ— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 7, 2018
Trump added that North Korea has “tremendous” potential economically, and that Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping have all expressed interest in doing business with North Korea.
U.S. officials have indicated they would be willing to lift economic sanctions on North Korea if leader Kim Jong Un agrees to fully abandon his nuclear program.
Trump said he’s open to signing an agreement that would end the Korean War, but called that “a first step.”
“That’s really the beginning. Sounds a little bit strange, but that’s probably the easy part. The hard part remains after that,” he said.
Trump is slated to meet with Kim next Tuesday at a luxury hotel in Singapore. The meeting will convene at 9 a.m. Singapore time, which is 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Trump told reporters earlier Thursday he does not have to prepare “very much” for his high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because he believes “it’s about attitude.”
“I think I'm very well prepared,” Trump said. “I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done.”