President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that progress has been made in the planning for a North Korea – U.S. summit. He has previously said that it would happen in May or June and still is not providing details but simply said that a time and date had been agreed upon and would be announced soon.
Months ago, a meeting between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un seemed impossible, but now Trump says he would like to sit down with Kim and talk about the possibility of North Korea dismantling their nuclear program and removing all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. According to ABC News, Donald Trump indicated earlier this week that he would like to hold the summit in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea, the location of the recent meeting of South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Kim Jong Un. Trump has also mentioned Singapore as a possible meeting place.
Following his meeting with the North Korean leader, Moon Jae-In reported that Kim would be willing to give up their nuclear weapons and program if the Donald Trump would agree that the United States would bring a formal end to the Korean War and promise not to attack North Korea. There have been no details about Kim’s specific demands.
Over 28,000 American troops have been stationed in South Korea since the truce that ended military action in the Korean War. President Trump has said that removing those troops that act as a deterrent to North Korea is “not on the table,” but there have been reports that Trump has asked the Pentagon to create plans for doing just that. It isn’t believed that this is something that will be discussed at the summit but rather is an indication that a peace treaty between North Korea and South Korea could reduce the need for U.S. troops in South Korea. In their recent meeting, Kim and Moon committed to removing nuclear weapons from the peninsula and bringing a formal end to the Korean War by the end of the year. Moon also said that Kim does not view the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea as a precondition of him removing nuclear weapons from the peninsula.
One other issue exists between the U.S. and North Korea – the continued detention by North Korea of three Korean-Americans on charges of anti-state activities. It’s a problem that President Trump has indicated in recent days is being actively discussed with Kim but has provided no details.