President Donald Trump is going into his one-day summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un next month “with his eyes wide open,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.
“As he has said many times, ‘we’ll see what happens,'” Sanders told reporters at the daily briefing. “But this is certainly a process that has moved in the right direction.”
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet June 12 in Singapore, and Sanders said Friday that they will hold a day of meetings, with additional time set aside for more talks if necessary.
“We’ve seen some signs of goodwill from North Korea just this week, with the three Americans brought back home, also the stopping of the ballistic-missile test, the stopping with their research and development on their nuclear program,” Sanders said.
“We’re going to continue to push for complete and total denuclearization,” she added. “We’re also going to continue maximum pressure until we see that happen.”
In a separate news conference at the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he told Kim in their meeting Wednesday in Pyongyang that if his country got rid of its nuclear weapons in a permanent and verifiable way, the U.S. would be willing to help boost its economy.
“We had good conversations about the histories of our two nations, the challenges that we have had between us,” Pompeo told reporters at a session with South Korean Visiting Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
“We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and our hope that we could achieve the same with respect to North Korea.”
Pompeo did not mention other adversaries by name, but the secretary and others have often noted that the U.S. played a major role in rebuilding Japan and the European axis powers after World War II.
“If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends,” Pompeo said.