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U.S. President Donald Trump is defending his preparations for next week’s high-stakes summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, telling reporters on Friday “I’ve been preparing for this all my life.”
Before departing Washington for G-7 talks in Quebec, the president said he was taking along “15 boxes of work” he will be reviewing ahead of his meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12.
The president himself sparked discussion about his preparations on Thursday when he told reporters that although he believes he is well prepared for the talks, “I don’t think I need to prepare very much. It’s about attitude, it’s about willingness to get things done.”
The Trump administration is seeking the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In exchange, Pyongyang is believed to be seeking relief from international sanctions.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted Thursday that Congress might be given a say in any deal President Trump may reach with the North Korean leader.
Pompeo was responding to a reporter’s question about whether a future president could undo an agreement — the way Trump pulled the United States out of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
“They signed a flimsy piece of paper and we’re hoping to submit a document that Congress would also have a say in,” Pompeo replied. “That would give currency and strength and elongation to the process. …Chairman Kim will have comfort that American policy will continue down the same path, on the same course that we hope we’re able to set in Singapore.”
But Pompeo did not say if that “document” sent to Congress would be a treaty or some other agreement.
If talks do not go well, Trump has made clear he is prepared to walk away and to impose even more sanctions against Pyongyang, potentially increasing tensions between the two nations and the region.
“I’d love to say it will happen in one deal, maybe it can, they have to denuke,” Trump said Thursday before meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “If they don’t denuclearize, that will not be acceptable. We cannot take sanctions off, the sanctions are extraordinarily powerful, we cannot. Could add a lot more, but I have chosen not to do that at this time, but that may happen.”