The Latest: Japan’s defense chief urges caution over NKorea
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and North Korea (all times local):
Japan’s defense minister has urged the international community to keep sanctions and surveillance on North Korea, saying it has a history of reneging on agreements.
Itsunori Onodera says North Korea agreed to give up nuclear weapons as early as 1994, but has continued to develop them in secret and until last year threatened surrounding countries with a series of ballistic missile launches.
He says: “In light of how North Korea has behaved in the past, I believe that it is important not to reward North Korea solely for agreeing to have a dialogue.”
He adds, “We have seen history repeat, where North Korea would declare to denuclearize, thereby portraying itself as conciliatory and forthcoming, only to turn around to void all international efforts towards peace.”
Onodera told an international security conference in Singapore, which is hosting the June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, that the only way to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula is to “ensure that North Korea will take concrete actions towards realizing the (complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement) of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all flight ranges in accordance with the series of U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
South Korea’s defense minister says there’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of a summit with President Donald Trump.
Song Young-moo says, “Just because we have been tricked by North Korea in the past doesn’t guarantee that we will be tricked in the future. If we believe that, we will never be able to negotiate with them and make peace with them.”
He was speaking at an international security conference in Singapore, which is hosting the June 12 summit.
Song says if the talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons are successful, they can be compared to the 1989 Malta Summit between former President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, less than a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Song says: “A dramatic change has come for the security environment of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says America’s troop presence in South Korea is not on the table for any discussion at President Donald Trump’s planned summit with North Korea later this month, adding, “Nor should it be.”
He says the “hopes of the world are on these talks.” And he acknowledges that if diplomacy with North Korea works, then troop levels and similar issues can come up, but only in discussions between the U.S. and South Korea.
He says the troop issue is “separate and distinct” and will not be brought up at the June 12 summit.
Mattis was speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international security conference in Singapore.
South Korea’s presidential office is welcoming President Donald Trump’s decision to revive his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom says in a statement released Saturday that the “road toward a North Korea-U.S. summit has widened and strengthened.”
The spokesman says Seoul will look forward to the “historic meeting in Singapore with excitement, but also patience.”
After a White House meeting Friday with a senior North Korean official, Trump said his meeting with Kim is back on for June 12 in Singapore.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has met Kim twice in recent weeks, has lobbied hard for a meeting between Trump and Kim.
President Donald Trump says he won’t impose any additional sanctions on North Korea for the time being.
Trump says “we had hundreds of new sanctions ready to go.” But he says he won’t impose them “until the talks break down.”
The president is referencing ongoing discussions with North Korea in preparation for a June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump announced Friday after meeting with a top aide to Kim that the summit is back on. He had announced just last week that he was canceling the meeting.
Speaking after the Oval Office meeting, the president said he looks forward to the day when he can “take the sanctions off” North Korea.
President Donald Trump says his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) is back on for June 12.
Trump says after an Oval Office meeting Friday with North Korea’s Kim Yong Chol that he’d be making a mistake not to go forward with the on-again, off-again nuclear summit in Singapore.
Trump says his meeting with the most senior North Korean to visit the White House in 18 years lasted longer than expected. He said it “went very well.”
Trump says his June 12 meeting will be “a beginning.”
He says, “The process will begin on June 12 in Singapore.”
President Donald Trump says he has yet to read the letter brought to the White House by a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon).
Trump says he didn’t open the letter. He says Kim Yong Chol — the North Korean official — said Trump could read the letter later.
Trump and Kim spent more than an hour in the Oval Office on Friday discussing issues in the run-up to a June 12 summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Trump also says he may at some point make the letter public.
A top North Korean official has departed the White House after meeting with President Donald Trump amid negotiations over a high-stakes summit.
Kim Yong Chol spent more than an hour in the Oval Office where he was spotted shaking hands with the president. He was expected to deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), the North Korean dictator, to Trump.
After the meeting, Trump and Kim Yong Chol posed for photos on the White House lawn.
Kim is the most senior North Korean visitor to the United States since Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington in 2000 to meet President Bill Clinton.
An aide to Kim Jong Un has arrived at the White House, becoming the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit in 18 years.
Kim Yong Chol was greeted Friday by White House chief of staff John Kelly, who brought him inside the White House to meet President Donald Trump.
Kim is expected to president a letter from Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), the North Korean dictator, to Trump.
The letter comes as the two countries work to revive a Trump-Kim summit on June 12 in Singapore.
Kim Yong Chol is the most senior North Korean visitor to the United States since Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok visited Washington in 2000 to meet President Bill Clinton.
A top aide to Kim Jong Un will make a rare visit to Washington Friday to hand a letter from the North Korean leader to President Donald Trump. That from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
He reported “good progress” is being made in talks between the two sides to revive an on-again, off-again nuclear summit. Pompeo spoke to reporters at a news conference in New York after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.
He would not say that the summit is a definite go for Singapore on June 12, and could not say if that decision would be made after Trump reads Kim Jong Un’s letter.