WASHINGTON, U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he looks forward to meeting soon with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as he claimed progress in efforts to denuclearize the regime.
Trump and Kim are planning to hold a second summit near the end of February in a follow-up to their historic summit in Singapore in June.
At the initial meeting, the two men committed to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees for Pyongyang.
"North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S. No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization," Trump tweeted.
"Time will tell what will happen with North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration, relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen. Now a whole different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made big difference!" he added.
Trump has credited himself with getting North Korea to halt nuclear and missile tests, return the remains of some American troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and release American prisoners.
Critics argue that the North has yet to demonstrate its seriousness about abandoning its nuclear weapons program.
At a Senate panel hearing Tuesday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats cast further doubt.
"We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival," he said, referring to weapons of mass destruction.
The date and venue of the second summit have yet to be announced amid reports that Vietnam has been chosen to play host.
Source: Yonhap news Agency