STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 4:55 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 4:55 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."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1980337

Reported Deaths: 51418
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2621119933
Queens2613019549
Suffolk1920063307
Nassau1759193106
Bronx1735626372
New York1307874308
Westchester1248812238
Erie811411694
Richmond700891744
Monroe603251034
Orange45755782
Rockland45439941
Onondaga35694661
Dutchess27720433
Albany23473343
Oneida21329497
Niagara17999332
Broome17239348
Saratoga14292160
Ulster12882241
Schenectady12332192
Rensselaer10567136
Putnam1011391
Chautauqua8304132
Chemung7081133
Oswego693990
Ontario681191
Steuben6231141
St. Lawrence615594
Sullivan606168
Cayuga582590
Jefferson542463
Wayne519667
Cattaraugus509880
Genesee5028121
Herkimer4896107
Clinton450132
Madison427385
Tompkins403449
Fulton402186
Livingston397058
Montgomery3861115
Columbia380999
Cortland352260
Tioga335758
Warren334956
Wyoming322651
Otsego315646
Allegany315483
Greene309474
Chenango304874
Washington282655
Orleans273483
Lewis243233
Franklin238312
Delaware213736
Seneca185756
Schoharie153815
Essex149326
Yates110126
Schuyler98313
Hamilton3012
Unassigned172100
Out of NY0216
Rome
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Binghamton
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Rome
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Rome
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Enter the Rock Your Body Giveaway from Alivana Aesthetics
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!