Trump and Kim caution that gradual approach to issues may be necessary
There is reportedly "good progress" in talks between Pyongyang and Washington officials in New York on Thursday to prepare for a historic summit, which, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, will focus on denuclearization.
But the leaders of the two countries seemed to have come to agree that denuclearizing takes time and there might be no quick breakthrough.
"I will tell you we"ve made real progress in the last 72 hours toward setting the conditions," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after meeting with a delegation from the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea. "The conditions are putting President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in a place where we think there could be real progress made by the two of them meeting."
He said the delegation, led by Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the DPRK"s ruling Workers" Party of Korea Central Committee, was planning to travel to the White House on Friday to deliver a letter from the DPRK"s top leader Kim to President Donald Trump.
On Thursday morning, however, the US president downplayed the chances for any big breakthrough in one meeting.
"Hopefully we"ll have a meeting on the 12th," Trump told reporters. "It doesn"t mean it gets all done at one meeting; maybe you have to have a second or a third. And maybe we"ll have none."
In a brief interview with Reuters, Trump said, "I"d like to see it done in one meeting, but often times that"s not the way deals work. There"s a very good chance that it won"t be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings. But it"ll get done at some point."
In Pyongyang, DPRK leader Kim said his country"s will for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula still remains "unchanged and consistent and fixed", the official KCNA news agency reported on Friday local time, after Kim"s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Kim hoped US-DPRK relations and denuclearization of the peninsula will both be solved on a "stage-by-stage" basis, according to KCNA.
Lavrov said after talks with his DPRK counterpart Ri Yong-ho on Thursday that the solution to the Korean Peninsula"s nuclear issue cannot be full unless sanctions against Pyongyang are lifted.
"It is impossible in one move to ensure denuclearization, that"s why certainly there should be some stages and there should be the oncoming traffic at each of these stages," the Russian News Agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
Ryan Hass, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that while a summit between Trump and Kim would be historic, it is unlikely to be decisive.
"This is not the fault of either Trump or Kim, but rather a reflection that intractable, decades-long strategic challenges rarely - if ever - get resolved in single encounters," Hass said in an analysis on Thursday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is aware of the active preparations by the US and the DPRK for their leaders" meeting.
"There is a historic opportunity for breaking years of deadlock on the peninsula and realizing denuclearization," she told a briefing on Thursday.
"We encourage and support the two sides to further demonstrate their sincerity with positive interaction, in order to ensure the meeting will take place on schedule and jointly open the gate of a denuclearized, peaceful and prosperous future for the peninsula."
At Thursday"s briefing in New York, Pompeo responded "don"t know" when asked if the summit will take place as originally scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
"There remains a great deal of work to do," the top US diplomat said.usb wristband wholesaleblue silicone braceletcanadian cancer society wristbandsentry wristbands for eventspersonalized sports bracelets