“I think they want to do that. I know they want to do that,” Trump said of North Korea giving up weapons. “They want other things along the line. They want to develop as a country … We’re going to help in the process.”
North Korea would also like to see a formal end to the Korean War and the removal of U.S. troops from the peninsula it shares with South Korea.
Trump said that the discussion with Kim Yong Chol, which lasted well more than an hour and included White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, delved into sanctions specifically.
“We would not take the sanctions off unless they did” denuclearize, he said. “I look forward to the day when I can take the sanctions off of North Korea.”
Kim Jong Chol presented Trump with a letter from his boss, which Trump described as “very nice” before acknowledging that he hadn’t yet read it.
But the president said he was pleased with the status of the talks, calling the Oval Office confab a “getting-to-know-you-plus meeting.”
South Korea’s president’s office said in a statement Friday night ET that Trump’s acceptance of Kim Jong Un’s letter shows the road toward a summit between the U.S. president and the North Korean leader has become “solidified.”
“We will watch the historic meeting in Singapore calmly yet with thrill,” said Kim Eui-kyeom, South Korea’s presidential spokesperson.