It appears as though a Trump-Kim summit 2.0 might be on the horizon. How far out on the horizon, though, is still unclear.
The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea on Sunday, Pompeo and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un agreed to hold a new summit between Kim and United States President Donald Trump “at the earliest date possible.” Moon had been briefed by Pompeo on his North Korea trip.
A spokesperson for South Korea’s dovish leader told the New York Times that the US and North Korea are expected to soon hold “working-level talks to set the details of the planned meeting,” including the date and venue.
After meeting with Kim in Pyongyang on Sunday, Pompeo told him during a photo-op it was “good to see you again” as they shook hands and smiled for the cameras, according to the Washington Post.
“Well, I am really pleased for this opportunity. After having a nice meeting, we can enjoy a meal together,” Kim said. After meeting, the pair had lunch together. He later said it was a “nice day that promises a good future for both countries.”
After meeting with Moon in Seoul, Pompeo thanked the South Korean president for his help in dealing with North Korea, according to remarks released by the State Department. Negotiations between the Washington and Pyongyang over denuclearization had stalled earlier this summer, and Moon has played mediator since.
“You all have been an incredibly important part of the success that we have all had to date, but what we all hope will be the denuclearization and the change in the relationship here on the peninsula,” Pompeo said, adding the conversation with Kim had been “good” and “productive.”
There have been both steps forward and backslides since the first summit
Trump and Kim met for their first summit in Singapore on June 12, the first time a sitting US president had met with a North Korean leader.
After the meeting, Trump declared that the nuclear threat from North Korea was over; whether that is actually the case has remained in question. There have been reports that North Korea’s nuclear activities continue, and in August, Trump called off Pompeo’s scheduled trip to the country.
But there have also been halting signs of progress — or at least placation.
Last month, North Korea kept long-range nuclear missiles out of one of its military parades — a move that experts said showed Kim didn’t want to further antagonize Trump. (It also helps normalize the country’s arsenal.)
The strategy seems to be paying dividends: At a rally in West Virginia at the end of September, Trump said that he and Kim “fell in love” over the denuclearization letters they’d been exchanging.