“We did discuss the ending of the Korean War. Reaching an agreement to end the war is something that could come out of the meeting,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday ahead of the revived summit.
“We talked about ending the war that has been going on almost 70 years,” Trump told reporters at the White House after a meeting with North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol who hand-delivered a letter to Trump from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Analysts expect that the official end of the Korean war could be announced either at a historic summit in Singapore planned for June 12 or at the truce village of Panmunjom on July 27, which marks the 65th anniversary of the armistice.
Trump met the North Korean envoy in the Oval Office for about 90 minutes, discussing key issues including the reduction of U.S. military forces stationed in South Korea and international economic sanctions against the regime. Trump said sanctions would remain in place but he didn’t want to use the term maximum pressure anymore.
“We’re going to deal, but we don’t expect to sign any agreement on June 12. And we are really going to start a process,” said Trump, adding that the two sides could take some time or rush into a deal. His announcement signaled that his administration is preparing for long, multiple rounds of talks to achieve North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization in a more phased approach than it previously called for. There is also a speculation that Trump could provide economic relief step by step as North Korea faithfully gives up its nuclear arsenal if he confirms North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization. “I don’t see the U.S. spending a lot of money. I think South Korea will do that, and Japan and China will help out,” said Trump, asked if the United States planned to offer economic aid.
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