White House

Trump: ‘Not Acceptable’ for North Korea Not to Denuclearize

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office of the White House, June 7, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reiters)

President Trump said on Thursday that it “will not be acceptable” for North Korea to avoid giving up its nuclear weapons.

“They have to denuke. If they don’t denuclearize that will not be acceptable,” Trump told reporters at a White House meeting with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

The president left the door open to levying more sanctions against North Korea, and promised that the current, “extraordinarily powerful” sanctions would remain in place.

“I could add a lot more, but I’ve chosen not to do that at this time, but that may happen,” he said.

The White House is continuing its preparations for the June 12 Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is back on after Trump reversed last month’s surprise decision to cancel it. Trump said Thursday that he thinks he is “very well-prepared” for the historic summit, which he warned is “subject always to change.”

“I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude. It’s about willingness to get things done,” he said. “But I think I’ve been preparing for this summit for a long time as has the other side….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,”

The president said that it’s unlikely that the Singapore summit will be a “one-meeting deal,” but that the countries will at least “start with perhaps a good relationship, and that’s something that’s very important toward the ultimate making of a deal.”

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