President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to kick off their historic summit Tuesday.
The two world leaders will now face off on the fate of the North Korean nuclear program with the U.S. demanding total, complete, and irreversible denuclearization in exchange for a promise of economic assistance. Trump envisions any possible denuclearization occurring in stages and possible future meetings, telling reporters Thursday he may invite Kim Jong-un to the White House if the first meeting goes well.
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 12, 2018
Following the direct one-on-one negotiations, Trump will be joined by a U.S. delegation for an expanded bilateral meeting.
“The United States delegation at tomorrow’s expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch,” the White House said.
North Korea has reneged on previous nuclear agreements with the U.S. but has suffered under western sanctions in recent years. The regime views its nuclear weapons program as a guarantee against invasion.
North Korea will attempt to gain a guarantee of its security from the U.S. in exchange for any future discussion on its nuclear program, while the U.S. team will look for concrete steps towards denuclearization before giving any assurances.