After removing the United States from G-7 joint statement over feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump left the summit early to head to Singapore for meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
At the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, where Trump defiantly brandished his “America First” agenda, the president spoke positively about the summit with the North Korean leader and described it as a “mission of peace.”
“I will be on a mission of peace and will carry in my heart the hearts of millions of people, all over the world. We really think North Korea will be a tremendous place in a very short period of time and we appreciate everything that's going on,” he said.
Trump added, “We appreciate working together with North Korea. So far, so good. We're going to have to see what happens. I very much look forward to it.”
The president also said that the meeting is a “one-time” shot at peace and called it a rare opportunity for Kim. After highlighting the positive motives of the meeting, Trump immediately talked about the failure of the summit.
“I really believe that he's going to do something positive for his people, for himself, for his family. He's got an opportunity the likes of which very few people have ever had. He can take that, with this nation of great people and truly make it great. It's a one-time shot and I think it's going to work out very well,” he said.
He said he would know “within the first minute” if the meeting would work or not and said there is a “good chance” that it wouldn’t work out.
“So far so good. We're going to have to see what happens. At a minimum, I do believe, at least we'll have met each other. Hopefully, we will have liked each other,” he said.
The highly anticipated meeting is set to take place on June 12 in Singapore and is set to mark the first-ever summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sander are expected to accompany Trump in Singapore.
According to the White House, Trump is scheduled to arrive at Singapore’s Paya Lebar Airbase and go to the Shangri-La Hotel with his delegation.
At stake at the summit are North Korea’s nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea spent decades developing nuclear weapons, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017. It also successfully tested missiles that had enough range to reach the U.S. mainland.
The summit comes after first being canceled and then revived.
On May 24, Trump announced he had decided to terminate the meeting, citing “tremendous anger” from North Korea as a factor in the decision via a particularly threatening statement. However, on May 28, the president tweeted, the summit might still be on.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Leah Millis