South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday, May 22, and expressed optimism about the upcoming meeting between the United States and North Korea.
Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, mirrored Moon’s comments and assured reporters that the meeting will take place as scheduled. “We believe there is a 99.9 percent chance the North Korea-U.S. summit (set for June 12 in Singapore) will be held as scheduled,” Chung said.
North Korea recently shifted its rhetoric despite several rounds of concessions and promises of peace and denuclearization. “We’re trying to understand the situation from the North’s perspective,” Chung said.
Moon credited Trump for the progress with North Korea. The South Korean leader had previously said that Trump deserves the Nobel Prize for his work. “Thanks to your vision of achieving peace through strength and your strong leadership, we are looking forward to the first U.S.-North Korea summit and we find ourselves standing one step closer to the dream of achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and world peace,” he said.
Moon also addressed doubts from mainstream media in the United States about the prospect of the meeting. “I have every confidence that President Trump will be able to achieve a historic feat of making the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit successful,” Moon said.
Trump expressed confidence in Kim’s intentions. I think he would like to see that happen,” Trump said. “I think he’s absolutely very serious.”
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet on June 12 in Singapore. During a meeting with Moon last month, Kim agreed to the goals of peace with South Korea and complete denuclearization. Both agreements are pending, with Trump expected to close the deal in June.
Kim released three American citizens from prison and invited foreign press to witness the shutdown of a nuclear testing site. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised North Korea a bright future if the regime ends its nuclear program. “If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korean people,” Pompeo said on May 11.
Trump will become the first American president to officially meet with a North Korean leader.