US President Donald Trump o Thursday announced that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.
“The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s announcement came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned home from North Korea with three detained Americans.
Trump, who personally greeted the trio at the Andrews Air Force Base, praised Kim for their release ahead of their summit.
Trump had earlier said that he favoured holding the meeting at the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified border separating the Koreas. But the island nation was favoured by most of his advisers.
The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang twice to meet with Kim in recent months, in a precursor to the Trump-Kim meeting.
Trump has struck a cautiously optimistic tone in discussing the prospects of reaching a deal during his upcoming summit with Kim, saying he is hopeful a historic agreement can be brokered while also warning the talks could prove unfruitful.
But the President saw the release of the three Americans as yet another reason for optimism as he prepares for the summit.
“We are starting off on a new footing—I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful. A lot of very good things have happened,” Trump said as he greeted the three former prisoners.
The Americans—Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim—were freed yesterday by North Korea while Pompeo was on a visit to Pyongyang to finalise the details of the Trump-Kim summit.
The trio had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in North Korean labour camps.
(With agency inputs)