U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed during his State of the Union address that a second summit between him and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un will be held at the end of February.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” the president said. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
CNN first broke the story last week, citing a senior administration official familiar with the matter.
The second meeting between the two leaders was announced by the White House on Jan. 18 following discussions with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator on nuclear talks.
The two met for the first time at a summit held in Singapore last year and parted with a commitment from Kim to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” However, since then, negotiations appear to have come to a halt.
U.S. intelligence chiefs believe there is little likelihood Kim will voluntarily give up his nuclear weapons or missiles capable of carrying them. Private analysts reviewing commercial satellite imagery have assessed that the North is still developing nuclear and missile technology despite suspending tests.
Just hours before the president’s second annual State of the Union address was set to begin, Politico reported that he’d told a group of television anchors that the two-day summit would be held in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28.
A source familiar with Trump’s plans also confirmed to Politico that he planned to announce the summit during the address.
A spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in told the Associated Press that South Korea hopes the United States and North Korea will produce “more concrete and practical” agreements during the meeting. The leaders’ first summit in Singapore last June ended with a vague promise by Kim to work toward denuclearization, without a concrete plan on how it would be implemented.
With a file from the Associated Press