President Trump said Saturday that talks for a summit with North Korea were “doing very well,” as he continued to fuel optimism that the meeting in Singapore to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula was back on track.
“I think there’s a lot of goodwill. I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.
Mr. Trump added that the talks were “moving along very nicely” and they were still looking at the original date of June 12 for the historic summit between Mr. Trump and North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un.
“That hasn’t changed. And it’s moving along pretty well, so we’ll see what happens,” said Mr. Trump.
The Singapore summit had gone through a dizzying sequence of cancellations and restarts, as the world holds its breath hoping for a chance to defuse the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the U.S.
Mr. Trump called off the summit Thursday following threats of nuclear war from North Korea, only to give fresh hope Friday that negotiations to stage the summit were in the works.
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Then Mr. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a secret meeting Saturday in the demilitarized zone between the two countries.
The White House also sent an advance team Saturday to Singapore to prepare for the talks.
“I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done,” said Mr. Trump. “We get that done and we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, that would be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for South Korea, it would be great for Japan, it would be great for the world, it would be great for the United States, it would be great for China.”
The president made the remarks while welcoming the Joshua Holt to the White House. The 26-year-old Utah man had just been released after nearly two years in a Venezuelan jail.
Mr. Holt was freed through secret negotiations with the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro by Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican.