President Donald Trump said Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has “to get rid” of his nukes, adding, “I think that they will.”
“I really believe that he will” denuclearize, the president told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, in a post-summit interview, “I have gotten to know [Kim] well in a short period of time. He’s de-nuking, I mean he’s de-nuking the whole place. It’s going to start very quickly. I think he’s going to start now.”
Trump signaled that North Korea will start by dismantling its missile sites.
“They will be announcing things over the next few days talking about other missile sites because they were, as you know, they were sending out a lot of missiles,” he revealed, explaining, “It was a period of time where I was saying, what are they doing? Every week it seems another missile going up. I mean, they’re going to be getting rid of sites.”
North Korea has already taken steps to dismantle the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, but it is unclear to what extent the testing site has been disabled. (RELATED: North Korea Demolishes Its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site)
Trump met his North Korean counterpart in Singapore Tuesday morning for an unprecedented summit. A sitting American president has never sat down for bilateral talks with a Kim. This time last year, the two leaders were on the edge of war, but the president and Kim smiled and shook hands Tuesday to start a friendly conversation, the first such exchange.
During the summit, Trump and Kim signed an agreement in which the U.S. side offered security assurances and possibilities for improved relations while the North Koreans made a commitment to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” (RELATED: Here’s What Trump, Kim Jong Un Agreed To At The Summit)
Trump told ABC News that Kim will maintain the moratorium on missile testing.
“He’s committed to not starting again,” the president said, “That won’t be happening. He means it. He really wants to do something, I think, terrific for their country, and it’s the only way it can be, it’s the only way it can be terrific.”
He acknowledged that denuclearization may not be as quick and easy as his administration initially suggested.
“You know, if you look at, if you talk to the experts, you can’t just do it immediately,” he explained, “It takes a period of time. But they’re gonna do it. They’re gonna start immediately.” Trump said that he trusts him.
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