14 August 2018

Trump says summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un 'all ready to go'

KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump says that everything was "ready to go" for his summit next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump made the remarks Thursday as he welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House for preparatory talks before the summit.

"The summit is all ready to go," Trump told reporters. "It's all going along very fine. I hope it continues on this track."

Trump and Abe were to hold a joint press conference at the White House at about 2:00 pm local time before heading to Canada for what promises to be a tense Group of Seven (G7) summit clouded by the US leader's controversial trade tariffs.

But before tackling the thorny trade issue, Trump expressed unbridled optimism about his June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore.

His enthusiasm to hold the meeting with Kim has reportedly prompted concerns in Tokyo that a hasty deal between the US and North Korea would leave Japan exposed to a perceived North Korean missile threat.

Japan has been anxiously watching ever since a thaw began first between Pyongyang and Seoul and then between North Korea and the US.

Japan also reportedly fears that Trump could eventually agree to reduce US military forces in South Korea, leaving Japan — which has been highly dependent on US military protection since Tokyo’s defeat in World War II — to fend for itself.

The Kim-Trump summit announcement came after several months of unprecedented cordial diplomacy between South and North Koreas, which had been adversaries for decades.

Trump has threatened the North Korean leader with the same fate as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi if Pyongyang does not abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Trump issued the threat this month when asked about the suggestion by US National Security Adviser John Bolton that the “Libyan model” be a template for dealing with North Korea at the planned summit.[ptv]

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