Trump, still planning summit, reassures and warns Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump on Thursday said US and North Korean officials are continuing to prepare for a scheduled diplo...

Posted: May 18, 2018 3:55 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 3:55 AM

President Donald Trump on Thursday said US and North Korean officials are continuing to prepare for a scheduled diplomatic summit next month, even as North Korea threatened in recent days to pull out of what would be a historic first meeting between a North Korean leader and US president.

Trump also reassured Kim Jong Un the North Korean leader would remain in power if he abandons his nuclear weapons program, but warned Kim that North Korea could be "decimated" if he refuses to strike a deal with the United States.

Trump's comments were his most extensive since North Korea dealt a blow to hopes for a successful US-North Korea summit next month in a series of statements earlier this week.

"They've been negotiating like nothing happened," Trump said of North Korea.

While he has read news reports about the North Korean statements and spoken with the South Koreans, Trump said the North Koreans have yet to signal plans to cancel the summit.

"If the meeting happens, it happens. And if it doesn't, we go on to the next step," Trump said. "We may have the meeting. We may not have the meeting. If we don't have it, that will be very interesting. ... We'll see what happens."

The President did seek to distance himself from a comment by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that had irked the North Koreans, dismissing talk of applying the "Libyan model" to the denuclearization of North Korea and reassuring Kim he will remain in power if he gives up his nuclear weapons.

But the President also appeared to be confused about the "Libyan model" Bolton referred to late last month, when his national security adviser said the "Libya model of 2003, 2004" could be applied to US negotiations with North Korea. Bolton was referring to the dismantling of Libya's weapons of mass destruction program, but Trump appeared to refer to the "Libyan model" as the subsequent military intervention in Libya years later that removed Moammar Gadhafi from power.

"The Libyan model isn't a model that we have at all when we're thinking of North Korea," Trump said. "This with Kim Jong Un would be something where he would be there. He would be running his country. His country would be very rich."

"The Libyan model was a much different model. We decimated that country. We never said to Gadhafi, 'Oh, we're going to give you protection,' " he continued. "We went in and decimated him, and we did the same thing with Iraq."

Drawing on those comments, Trump also warned Kim of the alternative to striking a denuclearization deal: the decimation of North Korea and Kim's removal from power.

"That model would take place if we don't make a deal," Trump said.

The President noted that North Korea's harsher tone this week came after Kim met for the second time with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and suggested the Chinese leader could be "influencing" Kim to harden his stance.

While Trump wavered on whether the summit would go forward next month, he made clear that he remains willing to meet with his North Korean counterpart. The question, he said, is whether Kim is still willing.

"You have to want to do it. With deals ... you have to have two parties that want to do it," Trump said. Kim "absolutely wanted to do it. Perhaps he doesn't want to do it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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