- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

President Trump on Tuesday touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the key to ensuring cooperation with the foreign nation before leaving Singapore.

“I don’t think a deal could be softer. First of all, we’re not paying $150 billion, OK, we’re paying nothing from that standpoint other than, you will see what happens,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Tuesday.

The president confirmed that the North Koreans were going to “get rid” of their ballistic missile sites “and various other things.” While he noted that announcements would come from the DPRK in the coming days, there is a “framework” to begin the process of denuclearization, which could take over a decade.

Mr. Trump also confirmed that Mr. Kim will not restart nuclear testing.

“How many months has it been, George? Seven? Where there’s been no missiles going out?” the president asked, “He’s committed to not starting again. That won’t be happening.”

The president described how the United States will continue to monitor North Korean progress. Mr. Trump explained that the White House will be working with Mr. Kim “on a constant basis,” while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues the “great relationship” with his North Korean counterpart.

“And it’s going to be much more open than it is right now,” Mr. Trump said of North Korea. “Right now it’s obviously very closed, it’s a very closed society we know very little about.”

While Mr. Trump was optimistic and confident in his relationship with Mr. Kim, the president did acknowledge that progress could halt as “a lot of things can change” when dealing with top state officials.

“Now, will I come back to you in a year and you’ll be interviewing and I’ll say, gee I made a mistake? That’s always possible,” Mr. Trump said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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