US president Donald Trump to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June

US president Donald Trump announced that he will meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June.

Trump tweeted:

The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!

Trump is providing details for the first time about the historic meeting between a sitting American president and the leader of North Korea over denuclearisation.

He had said he favoured holding the meeting at the Demilitarised Zone, the heavily fortified border separating the two Koreas. But the island nation was favored by most of his advisors.

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang twice to meet Kim in recent months, in a precursor to the Trump-Kim meeting. Pompeo returned overnight with three captive Americans during his most recent trip.

Trump thanked Kim for releasing the three Americans from captivity, saying he believes Kim wants to reach an agreement on denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

Welcoming the three Americans at a military base outside Washington early Thursday, Trump said of Kim, "I really think he wants to do something".

"Frankly, we didn’t think it was going to happen and it did," Trump said after thanking Kim for releasing the men.

"We're starting off on a new footing. This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early".

Trump said he believed Kim wanted to bring North Korea “into the real world” and had high hopes for their planned meeting, which would be the first between a serving US president and a North Korean leader.

"I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful", Trump said. "My proudest achievement will be — this is part of it — when we denuclearise that entire peninsula."

Trump and Kim engaged in a bellicose exchange of rhetoric last year over North Korea's development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States. Tensions began to ease, coinciding with the North's participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

There has been no sign that Pompeo's visit has cleared up the central question of whether North Korea will be willing to bargain away weapons its ruling family has long seen as crucial to its survival.

However, the release of the three men marked a dramatic victory for Trump's embattled White House at a time when his foreign policy is under withering criticism after Tuesday's US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

He added of the talks between his administration and the North Korean government, "It's never been taken this far".

Trump said he will not disclose whether he will have any personal conversations with Kim as they prepare for their historic summit in the coming weeks.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: May 10, 2018 20:38 PM

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