Trump says June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un back on


"Obviously yes, but it is a cost that we're willing to bear to play a small part in this historic meeting", Ng told reporters without elaborating, when asked if Singapore will be bearing the cost of the summit, which is scheduled for June 12.

The president did say that he had received a "very nice" and "interesting" letter from Mr. Kim - only to add that he had not read it.

At the conference, Mattis also said that the presence of some 28,500 USA forces based in South Korea "is not on the table ... nor should it be", at the June 12 summit. It went very well.

"It's really a get-to-know-you kind of a situation".

Rodong Sinmun, a newspaper that serves as mouthpiece for the ruling Workers' Party, said Assad had made the remark Wednesday during a ceremony in which he accepted the credentials of North Korean diplomats in Syria, including the new ambassador. "I told them today, take your time, we can go fast or we can go slowly".

They (North Korea) want it.

"I don't even want to use the term "maximum pressure" anymore", Trump said.

"Any discussion about the number of USA troops in the Republic of Korea is subject to the Republic of Korea's invitation to have them there, and the discussions between the United States and the Republic of Korea, separate and distinct from the negotiations that are going on with DPRK", said Mr Mattis during a question-and-answer segment. "I think South Korea will do it. Because, if the nuclear talks go well, I think the natural, sort of logical step we can expect is there might be some type of dialogue for normalizing relations, or at least improving ties between Washington and Pyongyang, and in the process, I think the North Korean human rights issue will be raised".

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Mr Trump also dialled back on the rhetoric, eight days after abruptly cancelling the high-stakes summit because of Pyongyang's "open hostility", softening his signature tough stance against the reclusive regime. Since the short-lived boycott threat, diplomats from both countries have conducted an intense flurry of talks, culminating this week when Pompeo sat down in NY with Kim's envoy. But North Korea's leadership is believed to regard nuclear weapons as crucial to its survival and has rejected unilaterally disarming.

Trump also said his efforts are being helped by China and involve South Korea and Japan.

"We'll see what happens", Trump said on Thursday. Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are many doubts that he would fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his guarantee of survival.

After North Korean officials delivered a series of bellicose statements last month, Trump announced he was withdrawing from the summit with a strongly worded letter.

"I mean, we have a number of issues that lie ahead, and with respect to nuclear talks, and you have to have a substantive agreement before you can talk about signing a peace treaty or any type of treaty that needs ratification from the Senate".

In a move that is sure to worry USA allies in Japan and South Korea, Trump also said that he and his guest had discussed United States troop numbers on the Korean peninsula.

Washington is determined that Kim should agree to what United States officials call the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end of North Korea's nuclear weapons and intercontinental missile programs.