Trump to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore
US President Donald Trump has announced that his much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place in Singapore on June 12.
The president announced the details in a tweet, in which he said: "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong-un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”
The event will be the first ever meeting between a current US president and a North Korean leader, with Trump having shocked the world when he accepted Kim's invitation to face-to-face talks back in March. It also follows historic talks between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which took place in April.
Trump was initially pressing for the meeting to be held in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, tweeting: "Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!" However, this site was believed to pose security risks.
It is also believed that Singapore has been chosen as the location for the summit as a result of the island nation's neutrality. The country has previously hosted other high profile diplomatic talks, including 2015 discussions between China and Taiwan.
Historic as the meeting may be, whether or not it will actually have any effect is still up for debate. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that one of the US's main objectives is to ensure the “permanent, verifiable irreversible dismantling of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program”. However, that is unlikely to be an option favoured by the North Korean regime, who have spent years developing such weapons.
For his part, Trump said in April that he would "walk out" of the talks if they were not proving productive. There are also questions over whether or not his recent decision to withdraw the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal will harm the administration's bargaining power, with some analysts saying that it damages their credibility and trustworthiness.
Trump's tweet confirming the details of the visit came just hours after he welcomed Pompeo and three US citizens who had been held prisoner by North Korea back to American soil from Pyongyang. "I really think he wants to do something and bring the country into the real world," Trump told reporters assembled to witness the repatriation. "It's never been taken this far, there has never been a relationship like this. I really think a lot of progress has been made."