President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Latest: Trump declares attitude a key to a good summit

President would 'certainly' invite Kim Jong Un to visit the U.S. if the Singapore summit goes well.

June 07, 2018 - 4:09 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the North Korea summit (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump will send his top diplomat to South Korea and China to brief other Asian nations after Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will accompany Trump to the summit in Singapore on June 12, then fly the next day to Seoul. He'll meet there with senior officials from South Korea and Japan.

Then Pompeo will fly to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials. The Trump administration's strategy for pressuring Pyongyang into negotiations depended heavily on China's help in enforcing sanctions.

The State Department says Pompeo's stops in South Korea and China demonstrate the Trump administration's "focus on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and commitment to our alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Region."

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3:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Otto Warmbier, the American college student who suffered brain damage while in North Korean custody, "has not died in vain."

Trump closed his news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday by paying tribute to Warmbier's family. Trump says he wanted to pay his respects to the family before his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un next week.

Warmbier died in June 2017, days after he arrived back home in Ohio. Months later, relations between the U.S. and North Korea began to thaw following the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Trump says the three Korean-American detainees released last month from North Korea are "happily ensconced" in their homes. He promised Abe to raise the issue of Japanese abductees held in North Korea.

Trump says he thinks the summit will be "a terrific success or a modified success."

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3:05 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says President Donald Trump must address the fate of Japanese citizens held hostage in North Korea during his upcoming summit with leader Kim Jong Un.

Abe said Thursday at a joint White House news conference that Trump "fully understands" the need to bring home at least a dozen Japanese citizens detained in North Korea.

He added that Trump "is one of the leaders who understands the issue the most, the greatest." Trump is slated to meet with Kim next week in Singapore.

Trump and Abe have discussed the issue many times, including during the president's visit to Tokyo last fall.

Abe also said that any deal Trump may make with Kim must address all weapons of mass destruction and midrange ballistic missiles.

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2:55 p.m.

President Trump says he would "certainly" invite North Korea's Kim Jong Un to visit the United States if summit negotiations in Singapore go well.

But Trump said Thursday at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he is also "totally prepared to walk" if things don't go well, noting that he "did it once before."

Trump says he'd probably favor the White House over his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as a venue for hosting Kim, saying: "Maybe we'll start with the White House."

He also says he believes Kim is prepared to do something that will be great for his country, his family and himself.

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2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is finally revealing details about a mysterious oversized letter from North Korea's Kim Jong Un delivered by a top North Korean official last week.

Trump said Thursday that the letter delivered by Kim Yong Chol was "a very warm letter" and "very nice."

He says it was "just a greeting" and "nothing other than" that.

Trump had told reporters last week after his meeting with Kim that the letter was "very interesting," but moments later said he actually hadn't read it.

Trump is speaking at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just days before he's set to depart for Singapore for an historic face-to-face meeting with Kim.

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2:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the United States would like to pursue normalizing relations with North Korea as part of his planned talks with Kim Jong Un.

Trump said Thursday during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that "normalizing relations is something that I would hope to do" once the negotiations are completed.

The meeting next week in Singapore will be the first of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting president of the United States.

The two countries have been in a formal state of war since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Trump says there are a "lot of good factors lined up for North Korea."

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2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in have been "extremely helpful" ahead of his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump says he is hopeful that the Singapore summit will lead to a "bright new future" for North Korea and the world. And he says the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would lead to prosperity and peace for "all Koreans."

Abe said Thursday: "We shall never repeat the past mistakes." He says that the two leaders had an "in-depth and candid" exchange of views and that the two countries "are always together."

Trump says the two countries are working on a bilateral trade deal.

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12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he believes he's well-prepared for his upcoming sit-down with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, adding he doesn't believe he needs much preparation for the summit.

Trump told reporters: "I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done. But I think I've been prepared for this summit for a long time."

Of the summit, set for June 12 in Singapore, Trump says: "It's going to be much more than a photo op."

He adds: "I think it's going to be a very fruitful meeting, I think it's going to be an exciting meeting."

Trump says that despite press reports, former NBA star Dennis Rodman isn't invited to the summit and that he won't be playing golf with Kim.

Trump says of Rodman: "I like him. He's a nice guy. No, he was not invited."

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12:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says that it appears his summit with Kim Jong Un is on for next week in Singapore, but says it's always subject to change.

Hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office to hear his "ideas' on the talks, Trump says: "I hope it continues on this track. If it does the world will be a very happy place."

Abe requested the meeting with Trump to ensure Japan's interests are represented in the Trump-Kim meeting. Speaking through a translator, Abe said he hoped it would be a transformational moment for the region.

Trump says the two leaders will also discuss trade issues. Both Trump and Abe will be traveling to the G-7 meeting in Canada, where the president is expected to get an earful from U.S. allies unhappy with his recent tariffs on aluminum and steel.

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12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the White House for consultations before the U.S. leader meets with North Korea's Kim Jong Un next week in Singapore.

Abe requested Thursday's meeting with Trump to coordinate strategy for the next week's talks and to elevate his country's concerns about the summit.

Abe is pushing Trump to raise the issue of Japanese abductees held in North Korea, and he is seeking to ensure that Trump's efforts to negotiate an agreement with Kim don't harm Japan's interests.

U.S. allies in the region have expressed concern that Trump's push to denuclearize the Korean peninsula could ignore the North's sophisticated ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs.

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