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Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un (L) with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June
Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un (L) with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Donald Trump plans meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2019

The pair are hoping to follow-up their historic summit in Singapore in June.
Dec 2nd 2018, 7:17 AM 6,232 18

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump said he hopes to organise a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in early 2019, perhaps as soon as January or February.

Trump told reporters travelling home aboard Air Force One from Argentina that “three sites” were in consideration for the meeting, a follow-up to their historic summit in Singapore in June.

When asked about a future meeting, Trump said: “I think we’re going to do one fairly (soon) – into January, February, I think.”

Trump had been in Buenos Aires for the G20 summit.

In June, Trump and Kim opened up dialogue on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula after months of trading military threats and pointed barbs.

On Friday, Trump discussed the situation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The pair “reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation” of North Korea, Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

But differences have emerged between Washington and Seoul on how to proceed with Kim, as the dovish Moon has long favored engagement with the North.

When asked Saturday if he would ever host Kim in the United States, Trump replied: “At some point, yeah.”

Trade deal

The United States also confirmed that it had agreed to suspend new tariffs with China for 90 days as the two powers seek to end a trade war.

The White House said a threatened increase of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25%, which was set to take effect on 1 January, would be put off for 90 days. 

“If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%,” a White House statement said after dinner talks between Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit.

Trump has harshly criticised China in recent months, accusing it of meddling in US elections, but called his meeting with Xi “amazing and productive.”

China earlier confirmed the details of the arrangement, saying that officials of the world’s two largest economies would get to work on resolving a range of trade disputes.

The White House said that China has also agreed to step up purchases “immediately” of an unspecified amount of US agricultural goods. 

Amid the trade tensions, China has sharply curtailed its purchases of US soybeans and other produce, dealing a significant blow to farmers, a major support base for Trump.

© AFP 2018

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