US President Donald Trump says he does not want to rush to denuclearize North Korea under a deal he reached with Kim Jong-un last month, a shift in tone from when the US leader said the process would begin very soon.
“Discussions are ongoing and they’re going very, very well,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “We have no time limit. We have no speed limit.”
Trump also said that he had discussed Pyongyang with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at their summit in Helsinki, Finland.
“President Putin is going to be involved in the sense that he is with us,” he said.
Trump and Kim met on June 12 in Singapore, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, and signed a joined document, committing to establishing new relations and achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Before the summit, the Trump administration said denuclearization should start “without delay,” and after the meeting, it spoke of the process starting “very quickly.”
So far, however, no concrete progress has been reported and Pyongyang has complained the Americans are making unilateral demands.
Kim, prior to the meeting, said that the two leaders had “decided to leave the past behind” and that “the world will see a major change.”
Trump said he had formed a “very special bond” with Kim and that Washington’s relationship with Pyongyang would be very different.
However, last month Trump declared North Korea an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the US as he acted to maintain harsh economic sanctions against Pyongyang.
“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” Trump said.