LA MALBAIE, Quebec: US President Donald Trump said his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un represents “a one-time” chance to forge peace between the US and North Korea as he prepared to fly on Saturday (Jun 9) to the venue in Singapore.
“It’s unknown territory in the truest sense but I really feel confident,” Trump said as he prepared to leave the ongoing G7 summit in Canada.
“I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity … It’s a one-time shot,” he said at a press conference, adding that the North Koreans had been working “very well with us” in the build-up to Tuesday’s summit.
He described the upcoming meeting as a “mission of peace”.
“We have to get denuclearisation, we have to get something. We really think that North Korea will be a tremendous place in a very short period of time,” he added.
Trump also told reporters at the news conference in Canada he thinks Kim will “surprise on the upside”.
He said he is going into the meeting with a positive spirit but said: “Who knows, it may not work out.”
Trump said he will know within a minute whether North Korea is serious and if something good is going to happen.
“I think within the first minute I’ll know. Just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do,” Trump told reporters at a news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec. “And if I think it won’t happen – I’m not going to waste my time. I don’t want to waste his time.”
Meanwhile, a rare direct flight from Pyongyang landed in Singapore on Saturday ahead of the expected arrival of Trump and Kim.
The arrival of the Air China Airbus 330 flight at Changi airport raised speculation that a delegation of North Korean officials joined an advance team headed by Kim’s close aide, Kim Chang Son, who was in Singapore to prepare for the talks.
TENSION AT G7 SUMMIT
Trump made a fresh call for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 despite meeting widespread opposition to his proposal from fellow leaders in Canada.
“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” Trump told reporters at the same conference.
“I think it would be good for Russia, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7.
“I think the G8 would be better. I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking for peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.”
Trump’s proposal for Russia to be brought back into the fold – which he made in Washington just before flying to Canada – received short shrift from European members of the G7, including Britain, France and Germany on the first day of the summit.
Russia was shown the door from what was then the G8 after its annexation of Crimea in 2014, widely condemned as an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Despite Trump’s comments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that Moscow was perfectly happy working with the larger G20 and had “never asked anyone to return” to the Group of Seven.
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