Back at UN, Trump eyes new N Korea summit ‘quite soon’

UNITED NATIONS, US: President Donald Trump said on Monday he expects a second summit with Kim Jong Un to take place “quite soon” as he returned to the United Nations to trumpet a turnaround in ties with the North Korean leader.
Trump used his debut address to the UN General Assembly last year to threaten to “totally destroy” North Korea and belittled Kim as “rocket man”, prompting Kim to respond by calling the US president “mentally deranged”.
But speaking as he arrived at UN headquarters in New York for this year’s gathering, Trump hailed “tremendous progress” to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests and said that a year later it was a “much different time.”
“It looks like we’ll have a second summit quite soon,” he told reporters.
“As you know Kim Jong Un wrote a letter — a beautiful letter — asking for a second meeting and we will be doing that,” added Trump who met with Kim in Singapore in June.
While relations with Kim have improved dramatically, leaders attending the annual assembly will hear how another of Trump’s adversaries, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, remains beyond the pale for the American president.
In addition to his address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump has a series of bilateral meetings with allies such as French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Theresa May and Japan’s Shinzo Abe, whom he met with late on Sunday.
One of the most closely-watched will be Monday’s meeting with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, who will brief him on last week’s inter-Korean summit with Kim in Pyongyang.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who has visited Pyongyang three times — will preside over a Security Council meeting on Thursday where he will brief members on how the administration can persuade the North to turn its back on nuclear weapons.
Big drug problem: Kicking off his meetings, Trump addressed “the world drug problem and a big problem it is” at an event that saw 130 countries pledge to step up action to fight the illegal drug trade and combat addiction.
In his 41-minute speech at the General Assembly in 2017, the US president made clear he wanted to turn the clock back on the last half-century’s growth of global rules and institutions to return to the primacy of the nation-state. —AFP