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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: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
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