File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )
US President Donald Trump said on Saturday a meeting with North Korea could happen over the next three to four weeks.
"I think we will have a meeting over the next three or four weeks," Trump said at a campaign rally in Washington, Michigan. "It's going be a very important meeting, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula."
On Saturday, Trump said on Twitter that he "just had a long and very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well, time and location of meeting with North Korea is being set."
Just had a long and very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well, time and location of meeting with North Korea is being set. Also spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2018
Trump added that he had also spoken with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to inform him of ongoing negotiations.
The White House later said Trump and Moon during the call "emphasized that a peaceful and prosperous future for North Korea is contingent upon its complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization."
The White House also said Trump had informed Abe that he would "urge North Korea to promptly resolve its abductions of Japanese citizens."
A senior US official said Singapore is being considered as a possible venue for the Trump-Kim summit.
Speaking on Saturday at a televised news conference in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised Trump's negotiations on North Korea and said he helped bring the two Korean leaders together.
"I have given him that credit because Donald Trump has taken a very, very strong, hard line on the denuclearisation issue and he has been able to bring in the support of the global community and, in particular, China," Turnbull said. "North Korea's economic relationship is overwhelmingly with China. And so China's preparedness to impose those sanctions has been the critical change that has put the economic pressure on North Korea."
Turnbull said the pressure from China and the US had brought Kim to the point of denuclearising the Korean peninsula.
"What we've now got to do is not relent on the economic pressure until that goal is achieved," he said.
Australia will send a military aircraft to monitor North Korean vessels suspected of transferring illicit goods in defiance of U.N. sanctions, he said.Iran, facing a possible U.S. exit from its nuclear deal with world powers, welcomed the inter-Korean summit, but said Washington was not a "qualified" partner in the negotiations.
"Iran sees (the summit) as an important step in the right direction that can contribute to lasting regional and global peace and security," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state media.
"The US government is not a credible actor, doesn't comply with its international obligations and doesn't qualify to take part in arrangements between countries," Qasemi added.
An editorial in the official China Daily on Saturday said denuclearisation could end hostilities between the two sides and "usher in a new era of development" on the peninsula, but noted Friday's declaration lacked a plan for achieving the goal.
"The denuclearisation of the peninsula, written into the Panmunjom Declaration, is only a prospect with no specific plan. That is because such specifics can be reached only between the US and North Korea, and South Korea has only limited authority to bargain," it said.