Washington: In his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, US President Donald Trump would seek a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the White House has said.
Hours after Trump announced the location and date of what is being billed as the historic US-N Korea summit, the White House cautioned against any new provocative behaviour by Pyongyang. Such a move might force US to halt the meeting, a presidential spokesman said on Thursday.
"Our policy is to ensure the complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. And that's what he's going to be seeking," White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters aboard the Air Force One travelling to Indiana.
"We have a month and several days. And there are a number of things -- provocative actions, for example, from North Korea would not be received well. So, I don't want to offer any hypothetical. All I'll say is that the meeting has been agreed to, but obviously it could be halted for any number of reasons," Shah said with a note of caution to the North Koreans. Shah added that Singapore was selected as the venue for the historic meeting because it had political ties with both the countries.
"Singapore has a relationship with both the United States and North Korea. They can ensure both the President's and Kim Jong-un's security, as well as provide neutrality," he added. "Singaporeans have been gracious up until now and also in the past. In fact, on a historical note, the first meeting between the leaders of China and Taiwan took place in Singapore some years back," Shah noted.
As of now, only one day has been kept for the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, he said, adding that planning was still in progress. Later Victoria Coates, Senior Director for International Negotiations at the National Security Council, White House, told reporters that the meeting could be scuttled if Kim Jong-un did something unacceptable to the United States.
It is possible that leaders from South Korea and China could also be present in Singapore at that time, she added. Shah told reporters that prior to the invitation being accepted, the North Koreans had agreed to halt their ballistic missile testing, their nuclear testing, and not publicly oppose joint US-South Korean military exercises.
"So those were the initial steps that the North Koreans took. We'll hold them to those steps. And then, obviously, there have been subsequent conversations," he said. On being asked if anything else was to happen between now and the summit, Shah replied, "I'm not setting additional preconditions. It's now been set."...