President Donald Trump said Friday that the time and place have been set for his landmark meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un - but kept the world guessing for now about the when and where. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.
They will also discuss the USA president's own upcoming summit with the North Korean leader, a statement said. "To that end, the South Korean and US presidents are planning to have close consultations in Washington in mid-May".
"The US is deliberately provoking [North Korea] at the time when the situation on the Korean peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation thanks to the historic north-south summit and the Panmunjom Declaration", the statement said, according to the BBC.
Moon's office said Sunday that he and Trump agreed in their phone call that the USA president should meet with Kim as soon as possible in a bid to maintain "the momentum of the success" of Friday's historic meeting of the Korean leaders. It remains unclear if Kim has relaxed that demand as he turns to diplomacy with adversaries after a year of escalating tensions.
"We now have a date and we have a location".
But Trump left open the possibility of a future adjustment to the USFK, whether in size or maintenance costs, noting, "Now, I have to tell you, at some point into the future, I would like to save the money", a remark that reflects his oft-spoken campaign remarks in which he complained about the USA bearing too much financial burden to defend other countries.
Besides Singapore, analysts have speculated that the venue for the Trump-Kim meeting could also be Mongolia, which Kim could travel to by bulletproof train. South Korea explained USA troops want to stay in the area shortly with a peace treaty is concluded to replace the armistice.
Mr Moon said Mr Trump deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with the North. Still, it would be a quixotic move as he enters into negotiations with Kim.
Although China long ago withdrew its troops, more than 28,000 American personnel remain based in South Korea, which the Kim regime views as an enduring threat.
Trump and senior United States officials have suggested repeatedly that Washington's tough policy toward North Korea, along with pressure on its main trading partner China, have played a decisive role in turning around what had been an extremely tense situation. Trump hinted that the release of Kim Dong-chul, Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim was in the offing. "As I said yesterday, stay tuned", Trump said, referring to an earlier tweet on the issue that has also weighed on U.S.
Having hosted Chung for talks, Bolton criticized the story as "utter nonsense".