May 24, 2018 08:17
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. would know by next week whether he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore as scheduled.
"It could very well be June 12th," Trump said. "If we go, it'll be a great thing for North Korea."
Trump had earlier said that if the June 12 date did not work out, the summit could be held later.
North Korea has hinted it may call off the summit because of U.S. demands that it unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that he was "very hopeful" there would be talks, but said that whether they happened would be "ultimately up to Chairman Kim."
Pompeo, who has already met with Kim twice, told the lawmakers the U.S. position had not changed and there would be no easing of sanctions on North Korea "until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
He said the U.S. would not hesitate to walk away from the talks if a bad deal was on the table.
But visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at the State Department that Beijing believed the summit should take place as scheduled. "If you want to solve the problem, now is the time. If you want peace, now is the time. If you want to make history, now is the time," Wang said.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council on Wednesday approved travel to Singapore by a North Korean delegation for the summit.
Sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program and missile tests include a travel ban on a large number of senior North Korean officials.
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