Senior aides to President Donald Trump claim that the commander-in-chief hopes that his upcoming meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Vietnam will divert media attention away from “mounting political turmoil”, The Washington Post reported.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, US officials have reportedly expressed skepticism over the prospects that the United States can reach a deal with North Korea to promote the “largely symbolic” agreement the two sides announced in Singapore in June.
The sources said that despite the commitments made at the first summit in Singapore, Washington and Pyongyang have yet to agree on a basic definition of what denuclearisation means to both sides.
The Washington Post further said that over the past few days, POTUS has sought to create the conditions to declare the forthcoming meeting a success regardless of its results.
Even though he previously insisted that Pyongyang immediately give up its nuclear weapons, last week he said there was “no rush” as long as the Asian country complied with a test ban on nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles effective since November 2017.
“I have no pressing timetable”, Trump emphasised, adding that he was hopeful his meeting with Kim in Hanoi won't be their last.
The media outlet suggested that Trump would like to re-create the atmosphere of the Singapore summit so that their meeting is again in the spotlight and he could divert attention away from domestic affairs. Their meeting on 28 February will take place just hours after Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, is expected to testify before Congress about his work for the president.
The first US-North Korean summit in Singapore, held last June, concluded with a four-point declaration to establish new bilateral relations, build a lasting and stable peace on the peninsula, commit to denuclearisation and repatriate the remains of US soldiers killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in an armistice agreement.
Pyongyang agreed to make efforts to promote the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for the US and South Korea halting their joint military drills.