President Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un

Trump: Chris Kleponis / Sipa USA; Kim: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File

President Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit To Be Held June 12 In Singapore

May 10, 2018 - 10:48 am
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WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) -- The historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will happen in Singapore on June 12.

The president made the announcement in a tweet on Thursday.

"We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!" Trump said.

CBS News White House Correspondent Steven Portnoy explained that the goal of the summit is full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“(Trump) wants to see Kim Jong Un give up the nuclear weapons that the Kim regime has been working for the last couple of decades now to develop. And it’s a high bar. It’s a high mountain for the president to climb, but the president say that the release of the hostages – the captives – before this meeting is a good sign, and he says that it basically puts the U.S. and North Korea on new footing,” Portnoy said.

The news comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from North Korea early Thursday morning, with three now-free Americans who were being held hostage by the regime.

He had been in North Korea building the "framework" for the Trump-Kim summit.

Trump had said Kim did a “wonderful thing” in releasing the three prisoners, and said Kim was “excellent” to the captives, Portnoy said. That remark drew some pushback from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York).

“(Schumer) said the release of the captives should not be exalted by the American president, it should be expected. And Schumer went further. He said that the warm remarks that the president made at about 3 o’clock this morning at Joint Base Andrews might provide an inducement to other despots to try to take Americans captive so that they could be similarly lauded for releasing them,” Portnoy said.

Portnoy added that the summit is of enormous historical import.

“I would say… that this is the most widely-anticipated, highest-stakes summit between an American president and another world leader since Reykjavik in 1986, when Ronald Reagan sat with Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss arms reduction,” Portnoy said. “And that meeting by the way, when it started, did not seem to be going well, so I think that’s the closest parallel that we White House observers can point to.”

Portnoy also noted the 180-degree change in tone when it came to Trump’s remarks about North Korea in just a matter of months.

“Just seven, eight months ago, (Trump) was threatening to rain down fire and fury upon North Korea, and now they’re going to sit down at the table and at least discuss the prospect of denuclearization,” Portnoy said. “We have seen a very rapid thawing of relations between North Korea and the United States, and the president is hoping to capitalize on that momentum. And what we certainly have seen is a drastic change in his rhetoric towards Kim Jong Un and his regime.”