The White House says President Donald Trump will be leaving Singapore a day earlier than scheduled because talks with North Korea about denuclearization are moving ahead “more quickly” than the president initially anticipated.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are scheduled to meet face to face — the first-ever summit between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader — Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Singapore, or 9 p.m. Eastern Time Monday in the U.S.
“Following the initial greeting, President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch,” a statement from the White House said.
Detailed discussions between U.S. and North Korea officials “are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected,” the White House statement added.
The president had been scheduled to leave Singapore on Wednesday morning, but he will not be departing Tuesday night.
Trump said last week the summit with the North Korean leader could last “two [or] three” days based on what transpired in the meetings.
“As you know, we’ve got a very interesting meeting tomorrow,” Trump told Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hwien Loong on Monday. “We’ve got very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely.”
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1005989290520739845 Trump has said he does not expect to sign a major denuclearization agreement at this summit, but the administration does want a commitment from Kim to lay out the details of dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs.
“The president is fully prepared for the meeting,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in advance of the the historic meeting.
Just out: Official White House schedule for the Trump/Kim summit –>
—9p ET: Trump greets Kim
—9:15p ET: Bilateral meeting
—10p ET: Expanded bilateral
—1130p ET: Working lunch between Trump + Kim
—4a ET: Trump news conference
—630a ET: Trump departs Singapore
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) June 11, 2018
Pompeo said the meeting will offer evidence if Kim is sincere in his willingness to denuclearize.
After the summit, Pompeo said, “there’s going to be a lot of work left to do.”
Pompeo said the meeting between the two leaders would provide “an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity” to North Korea.
Trump is expected to propose lifting economic sanctions against North Korea and provide other forms of economic assistance if Kim agrees to give up his country’s nuclear weapons programs.
But Pompeo said Trump will keep up his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against North Korea if the country does not denuclearize.
“If diplomacy doesn’t move in the right direction, sanctions will increase,” Pompeo said.