White House planning second Trump-Kim summit
The White House said Monday that planning is underway for a second meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un after the North Korean leader sent Trump a letter requesting another summit.
During a briefing with reporters, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the request was the “primary purpose” of Kim’s letter and a second meeting is “certainly something we want to take place.”
She added that the White House is “already in the process of coordinating that.”
Sanders provided no details about the time or place of a second meeting, saying discussions are still taking place.
The two leaders first met over the summer in Singapore in what was a historic first summit between the longtime foes.
Kim made a vague promise to give up his nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief from the U.S., but no timeline was agreed to following the meeting.
Trump has remained publicly bullish about his efforts to use diplomacy to end North Korea’s nuclear program, despite mounting evidence that Pyongyang continues to push ahead with weapons and missile development.
Sanders said Kim’s request is a sign Trump has “achieved tremendous success of his policy so far and the letter was further evidence of progress in that relationship.”
She cited the return of U.S. prisoners and the remains of American war dead and the lack of new nuclear and missile tests.
But media reports, citing intelligence and military officials, say that progress toward denuclearization has been slow and that North Korea has shown few signs it is interested in giving up its weapons.
Some in the administration have cast a more skeptical eye toward North Korea’s desire to denuclearize.
“The possibility of another meeting between the two presidents obviously exists. But President Trump can’t make the North Koreans walk through the door he’s holding open,” national security adviser John Bolton said in a speech in Washington earlier Monday.
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