First US-North Korea Summit Set For June 12 In Singapore

A sitting US President has never met a North Korean Leader, until now.

What you need to know
  • The first ever summit between the US and North Korea will happen on June 12
  • The meeting will take place in Singapore
  • The pair is expected to talk demilitarisation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Leaders of the United States and North Korea will meet for the first time when President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un hold a summit on June 12 in Singapore where the US side will try to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

The two men -- whose countries are still technically at war -- exchanged fiery rhetoric last year over North Korea’s attempts to build a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

But tensions have since eased greatly, starting around the time of the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

“The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong-Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

His announcement came just hours after three Americans who had been held prisoner in North Korea arrived at a U.S. military base outside Washington, having been released by Kim as a gesture ahead of the summit.

Trump said on their arrival that he believed Kim, who has led North Korea for seven years and is believed to be in his mid-30s, wanted to bring North Korea “into the real world”.

“I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful,” Trump said. “My proudest achievement will be -- this is part of it -- when we denuclearise that entire peninsula.”

Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea. Image: Getty Images.

New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has visited Pyongyang twice in recent weeks -- once as head of the CIA -- but there has been no sign that he cleared up the central question of whether North Korea will be willing to bargain away nuclear weapons that its rulers have long seen as crucial to their survival.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by telephone on Wednesday and the White House said the two leaders “affirmed the shared goal of North Korea abandoning its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs” and remained committed to cooperating with South Korea.