Trump says 'speed is not important' in reaching nuclear deal with North Korea's Kim

Trump says 'speed is not important' in reaching nuclear deal with North Korea's Kim
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in the midst of a second day of meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam, with Trump saying that “speed is not important” in reaching a deal with Pyongyang to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

The second day of the Hanoi summit kicked off at about 9 a.m. local time Thursday, about 9 p.m. Wednesday in Washington, with a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Kim at the Metropole Hotel.

After about 45 minutes, Trump and Kim walked through the garden at the hotel to greet Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoFive takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Pompeo: No US response ruled out in Hong Kong Ousted ambassador describes State Department in 'crisis' in dramatic impeachment testimony MORE and chief North Korea negotiator Kim Yong Chol for an expanded bilateral meeting scheduled to last about two hours.

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During the expanded meeting, Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told reporters who asked if is he willing to denuclearize that "if I'm not willing to do that, I won't be here right now.”

But pressed on if he’s ready to take concrete steps, Kim said, “that is what we are discussing right now.”

On the U.S. side, the bilateral meeting also included national security advisor John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNew witness claims firsthand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Trump files to dismiss lawsuit from Bolton aide on impeachment testimony OMB official to testify in impeachment probe if subpoenaed after others refused MORE seated the table with Trump and Pompeo. Special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun was seated behind them with National Security Council officials. The bilateral meeting is scheduled to be followed by a working lunch.

Trump has previously said he is in “no rush” to make a denuclearization deal as long as North Korea refrains from testing missiles and nuclear warheads — something he and Kim had a “great talk about” the previous night, Trump said Thursday.

Trump has also kept up his economic message to Kim -- which he hopes will convince Kim to give up his nuclear weapons -- pledging to help make North Korea a "powerhouse."

“I think it’s going to be an economic powerhouse,” Trump said. “And it’s something I very much look forward to helping with.”

Trump also continued to tout the relationship he and Kim have developed, saying he has “great respect” for Kim, who has been accused of grave human rights violations.

“It’s great to be with you again, and I’m sure over the years, we’ll be together a lot, and I think we’ll also be together after the fact, meaning after the deal is made,” Trump said.

Responding to a question from The Washington Post during the one-on-one in what appears to be the first time he has taken a question from foreign press, Kim said through an interpreter that he is not “pessimistic” about the outcome of the summit and has a “feeling that good results would come out” of it.

The summit has been competing for attention with the congressional testimony of Trump’s formal personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee that Trump is a “racist” and a “cheat” who had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks’s dump of damaging Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential race.

Trump has not commented on the testimony since the start of the hearing, which took place overnight in Vietnam.

But hours before his first meeting with Kim, Trump tweeted that Cohen was only “one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately),” a sign the president is also paying attention to the events back in Washington.

“He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!” Trump wrote, referring to Cohen adviser Lanny Davis, who once worked for former President Clinton.

For his summit with Kim, Trump has a full agenda Thursday. After lunch, Trump and Kim are scheduled to participate in a “Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony.” Trump will cap off his time in Hanoi with a press conference back at the hotel he is staying at, the JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi.

It remains unclear what will be in the joint agreement. Speculation in the last couple days has fallen on a peace declaration to end the Korean War in exchange for Kim agreeing to shutter the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

During the first day of the summit Wednesday, Trump touted his “very special relationship” with Kim and argued the so-called hermit kingdom could thrive economically if it gives up its nuclear weapons.

Updated 11:54 p.m.