Donald Trump (left) and Kim Jung Un.
Washington: President Donald Trump on Friday said the date and location have been set for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which would be announced soon, and hinted at progress in winning the release of three Americans held in North Korea.
The White House has said the first meeting between sitting US and North Korean leaders could take place in the coming weeks. Trump is expected to push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
“We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the (US) hostages. I think you’re going to see very good things,” Trump told reporters.
The US government is looking into reports that three Americans arrested in recent years in North Korea had recently been relocated from a labour camp to a hotel near Pyongyang, as expectations grow that they will be released before the summit.
Trump said this week that the demilitarised zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea would be an excellent venue for the planned summit, but that Singapore was also a possible site.
The Peace House at the DMZ was the venue for a meeting last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump also told reporters on Friday that he was not considering reducing the US military’s presence in South Korea as part of the negotiations.
“Troops are not on the table,” he said before a flight to Dallas, Texas, where he will address the National Rifle Association.
Trade talks end with no deal
Senior Chinese and US officials concluded two days of negotiations late on Friday afternoon with no deal and no date set for further talks.
The US negotiating team headed for the airport after the talks and did not release a statement. But a list of demands that the group brought into the meeting called for reducing the United States’ trade gap with China by $200 billion over the next two years and a halt on Chinese subsidies for advanced manufacturing sectors.