zt Donald Trump says meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un won't be at DMZ



WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday ruled out meeting North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and said final details of the historic summit will be disclosed soon.

"We're going to announce that in three days ... within three days," Trump told reporters before a Cabinet meeting. "Working arrangements."

Asked about the DMZ, Trump replied: "It will not be there."

Among the options for a neutral site: Singapore.

The president also said that while people believe he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, he wants a "prize for the world" in the form of a denuclearized North Korea. Asked about his prospects for the Nobel, Trump said: “Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who discussed the prospective meeting with Kim during a surprise trip to Pyongyang, told reporters Wednesday they are planning a one-day summit, but added that it could be extended. "In the event that there is more to discuss, there’ll be an opportunity for it to extend into the second day as well," Pompeo said.

The meeting plan has been developed during weeks of talks that began after Trump suddenly announced on March 8 he had accepted Kim's invitation as delivered via the South Korean government.

South Korean officials have also been involved involved in the talks about the Kim meeting. South Korean media have reported it would be in Singapore in mid-to-late June; Trump officials would not confirm those reports and said other sites have been considered.

Prisoners released
Trump's latest tease on the day and the site came just a few hours after North Korea agreed to release three U.S. hostages.

“I appreciate Kim Jong Un for doing this,” the president said.

Trump has long sought credit for the idea of a Kim meeting. When a reporter asked him back on March 8 whether he would authorize negotiations, Trump said, "it's almost beyond that ... Hopefully, you will give me credit."

Trump has long strung out details of the Kim meeting, all the while saying he is prepared to walk away if he believes the North Korean leader is not negotiating in good faith.

"We'll see how it all works out," Trump said Tuesday. "Maybe it will, maybe it won't but it can be a great thing for North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the entire world. We hope it all works out."

Trump also said that, even in the run-up to the meeting, he would continue urging China and other countries to cut off economic help to North Korea until it agrees to give up nuclear weapons.

Some analysts have questioned Trump's haste in setting up a meeting with Kim, saying the summit alone confers immense prestige on the leader among the North Korean people.

North Korean demands
Analysts have also said that, over the years, North Korea has demanded the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea and the eliminating of the nuclear defense umbrella that covers the Korean Peninsula.

A final hurdle toward the scheduling announcement was cleared Wednesday with the announcement of the hostage release.

"I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting," Trump tweeted. "They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set."

Donald J. Trump



I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health. Also, good meeting with Kim Jong Un. Date & Place set.

8:30 AM - May 9, 2018
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Donald J. Trump



Secretary Pompeo and his “guests” will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 A.M. in the morning. I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!

8:35 AM - May 9, 2018
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Trump also announced he and Vice President Pence would travel to Joint Base Andrews to greet the hostages when they land, scheduled for early Thursday morning.

The three men — Kim Hak-Song, also known as Jin Xue Song; Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang-Duk; and Kim Dong-Chul — were seized by the North Koreans between 2015 and 2017, and accused of a variety of anti-state offenses.

Trump had said Tuesday that Pompeo had again traveled to North Korea to meet with Kim about details for the planned meeting, which included release of the U.S. prisoners. Pompeo also traveled to Pyongyang to speak with Kim over the Easter weekend.

After the release, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump "appreciates leader Kim Jong Un’s action to release these American citizens, and views this as a positive gesture of goodwill."

A DMZ celebration?
In past weeks, Trump had talked up the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea as a potential site for the Kim meeting, saying it was intrigued him to negotiate at the site of the nuclear dispute.

"I think it would be a great celebration if it works out well. And if it doesn't work out well, that's the way it goes," Trump said.

More: Trump says Kim Jong Un meeting should be set in a 'couple of days'

More: Trump says he may meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the DMZ

Michael J. Green, senior vice president for Asia with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Kim's offers have lacked "meaningful commitment" to denuclearization. He said Kim may be looking for ways to reaffirm his nation's status as a nuclear weapons state while diluting support for economic sanctions by China and South Korea.

"Many veterans of negotiations with North Korea worry that Kim is now getting ready to play the United States," Green wrote in Foreign Policy magazine.