President Donald Trump attempted to strike a balance between optimism and skepticism about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump told reporters Monday “we’ll see what happens” when it comes to the talks about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Yet, he added that the United States “has never been closer to potentially having something happen with respect to the Korean peninsula that can get rid of the nuclear weapons.”
“So, we’ll see what happens. I often say, who knows? Who knows? Maybe a lot of things change,” the president said.
The president at times seemed to suggest he thought about his meeting with Kim as not merely a diplomatic event, but as a major media event as well.
By holding the talks on the Korean peninsula, “if things work out, there is a great celebration to be had on the site, [and] not in a third party country,” he said.
“I will say this, the good news is that everybody wants us,” he said, referring to other counties which have volunteered to hold the talks. “It has the chance to be a big event.”
Trump’s comments came moments after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that “Iran lied big time” about never having a nuclear weapons program. Trump, who is expected to make a decision on the nuclear deal by mid-May, told reporters that pulling out of the agreement “sends the right message” to Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, Trump added that the leader of the North has been “very open and very straightforward so far” and referenced Kim’s promise to forgo ballistic missile and nuclear weapon testing.
“He’s talking about no research, no launching of ballistic missiles, no nuclear testing and he has lived up to that for a long period of time. A longer period of time than anybody has seen,” Trump said.
As it stands, North Korea remains the only nation to test nuclear weapons in this century.