President Trump warned on Wednesday that he will walk away from the talks with Kim Jong Un if he’s confident that the talks won’t amount to anything. Trump told reporters in an appearance with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that if he feels that the planned meeting won’t be successful he won’t have it. The President, however, said that his administration will continue to pursue the current diplomatic opportunity to see what happens.
South Korean officials announced last month that Trump had agreed to a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un. The summit was initially planned to take place in May but White House officials say that it has been moved to June. The location of the meeting is still unknown. A source from the White House, however, revealed that a number of locations have already been ruled out due to security concerns. North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, Beijing, and Mongolia were some of the earlier suggestions which raised security concerns. US officials are reportedly pushing for a neutral location. Europe is being considered as a possible meeting place and countries such as Switzerland and Sweden have been proposed.
The Trump administration has been trying to end North Korea’s nuclear and missile program for the last 12 months. This is something that past administrations have failed to do. In January last year, the North Korean leader was involved in fiery rhetoric with President Trump as tensions in the Korean Peninsula continued to rise.
However, after the increased diplomatic and economic pressure, North Korea seems ready to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the standoff with the US and its allies in the region. Trump revealed a few days ago that CIA director and secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo had traveled to North Korea to meet Kim Jong Un in order to discuss the modalities of the proposed summit. China has also joined the US in the efforts to put pressure on North Korea to abandon its missiles program. China is the largest trading partner of the “hermit kingdom.” Beijing announced a few months back limits on the energy supply to North Korea as part of the UN economic sanctions against Kim Jong Un.
The North Korean leader also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. The reason for the meeting or what was discussed is still not known. President Trump said that China’s role in the planned talks will be very important. Trump thanked President Jinping although he thinks that Beijing could still do more.
South Korea’s officials are also spearheading talks of their own with Kim Jong Un. A summit between the North and the South is expected to be held at the demilitarized zone in the coming weeks. It’s not clear what the US will do if talks with North Korea fall through. However, experts say that it will take a lot of assurances for the isolated country to abandon its missile and nuclear progra