President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons program during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple,” Trump told reporters when asked about his definition of denuclearization.
“It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and claim victory. I don’t want to do that,” he continued. “I want them to get rid of their nukes.”
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has repeatedly defined the term as denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and not as a full removal of the country’s nuclear program, has not yet commented on Trump’s more full definition of the term, though the president seemed optimistic about future discussions during the press conference with Macron.
“We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible,” Trump said, referencing a proposed meeting with North Korea. “We think that’s a great thing for the world. Kim Jong Un, he has really been very open and, I think, very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”
Trump is expected to meet with Kim in either May or June to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and denuclearization. The meeting would be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader since the start of the Korean War six decades ago.
This week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim will host a summit in the demilitarized zone to discuss improving bilateral relations and denuclearizing the peninsula. It will be the first meeting of its kind in over a decade and could result in an official end to the 68-year conflict between the two nations, according to reports that surfaced last week.