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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump could postpone meeting with Kim Jong-un

Por Damian

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could be postponed, minutes after receiving the South Korean president precisely to coordinate that meeting. "There is a significant possibility that (the date of June 12) will not work", the president said after meeting with South Korean head Moon Jae-in.

"If it does not happen now, maybe it will happen later", Trump said. It is the latest setback for reconciliation efforts between the two Koreas: last week Pyongyang canceled its participation in a meeting with the South Koreans in protest of military maneuvers between Seoul and Washington. "There are certain conditions we want", Trump said, and if those conditions are not met, "the meeting will not be held". He refused to say what those conditions were. "That does not mean that the meeting can´t be finalized in the long term, but there is a significant possibility that it will not happen on June 12. But there is a good chance that the meeting will take place", Trump declared.

Moon said in the Oval Office that "the future and destiny" of the Korean peninsula depends on the talks, assuring the president that the world is "one step closer" to the denuclearization of the peninsula. Trump said he has noticed "a small change" in Kim Jong-un's "attitude" after he traveled to China for the second time as a preamble to the summit. "I did not like that", Trump added.

He said that he expects Chinese President Xi Jinping to remain committed to the goal of having a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, and praised him as an extraordinary poker player. But he expressed discontent over the fact that China loosened its controls on the North Korean border. Trump urged Kim to seize the moment to attend the summit and forge an agreement to end its nuclear program, promising not only to guarantee Kim's physical integrity but also a prosperous future for the North.

"I guarantee your safety, yes", Trump said if Kim agrees to a total, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. He assured that if this agreement is reached, China, Japan and South Korea will invest large sums of money "to make North Korea great".