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‘It is unlikely that Trump would go to Pyongyang,’ says White House official

‘It is unlikely that Trump would go to Pyongyang,’ says White House official

Posted March. 13, 2018 08:00,   

Updated March. 13, 2018 08:00


It is unlikely that U.S. President Donald Trump would travel to Pyongyang for the yet-to-be arranged summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a White House official said.

“It is going to be a time and a place to be decided. Nothing’s being ruled out,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on “This Week” Sunday (local time). But asked if Trump would be open to going to North Korea, going to his turf, he said, “I don’t think that that’s highly likely, but again, I’m not going to rule anything out.”

The White House is paying extra caution in choosing a location for the May meeting. As the location is critical for the signal it sends, for example, if Trump travels to North Korea to meet with Kim, that would appear to give the North Koreans an upper hand, USA TODAY reported.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday declined to talk about North Korea, saying, “It’s that delicate. The White House and State Department are best suited to discuss the situation.”

Senior officials have defended criticism that Trump reportedly accepted the invitation on the spot when he was briefed by the South Korean special envoys. “President Trump isn’t doing this for theatre, he is going to solve a problem,” CIA director Mike Pompeo told Fox News Sunday. “The president has made the decision. This is the right time to meet with Kim Jong Un.”

Yong Park parky@donga.com