Trump spoke to reporters as he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House, where Trump’s planned meeting Tuesday with Kim is high on the agenda.
“I think I’ve been preparing for the summit for a long time, as has the other side,” Trump said. “They’ve been preparing for a long time, also. So this isn’t a question of preparation — it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen. And we’ll know that very quickly.”
Though Trump has been playing down expectations for the summit in Singapore, he told reporters that the meeting will be “much more than a photo op.”
“This will be, at a minimum, we’ll start with perhaps a good relationship,” he said.
Trump is seeking to get North Korea to agree to denuclearize but acknowledged that is not likely to happen immediately.
“I think it’s a process,” he said. “I’ve told you that many times before. I think it’s not a one-meeting deal. It would be wonderful if it were.”
Ultimately, if North Korea does not denuclearize, “that will not be acceptable,” Trump said,
“They have to denuke,” he said, adding that the United States plans to keep sanctions on North Korea in the meantime.
“The sanctions are extraordinarily powerful,” Trump said. “And I could add a lot more ... but I’ve chosen not to do that at this time. But that may happen.”
Trump said it remains an open question how long he’ll stay in Singapore.
“I think it’s gonna be a very fruitful meeting, I think it’s gonna be an exciting meeting, I think we’re gonna get to know a lot of people that our country never got to know,” he said.