President Trump on Thursday sought to reassure North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after Kim’s government threatened to pull out of the upcoming nuclear summit with the United States.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he is “willing to do a lot” to offer Kim “protections” if the North Korean leader agrees to surrender his nuclear weapons.
“He will get protections that are very strong,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with NATO’s secretary-general. “The best thing he could do is make a deal.”
Trump’s comments show he is eager to address North Korea’s concerns so the summit can take place.
Nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang is the president’s top foreign policy priority, so it would be major blow to Trump if the talks with Kim fell through.
The president said preparations for the meeting are moving ahead “as if nothing happened,” adding the U.S. has not heard official word from the North Koreans about any intention to pull out.
“Our people are literally dealing with them right now in terms of making arrangements, so that’s a lot different than what you read, but oftentimes what you read, if it’s not fake news, is true,” he said.