Trump says second meeting with North Korea’s Kim could be ‘quite soon’

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump, arriving at the United Nations on Monday morning, said he and Kim Jong Un will meet for a second time “quite soon.”

“It looks like we’ll have a second summit quite soon. As you know, Kim Jong Un wrote a letter — a beautiful letter — and asked me for a second meeting and we will be doing that. (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo will work that out in the immediate future,” Trump said, claiming there has been “tremendous progress on North Korea.”

Diplomacy between the US and North Korea has continued in fits and starts since Trump met with Kim in Singapore in June, with Trump most recently canceling Pompeo’s planned trip to Pyongyang last month, believing the visit would not be fruitful.

But throughout the process, Trump has continued to express a rosy optimism about the fate of the US-North Korea diplomatic effort and repeatedly expressed confidence in the strength of his personal relationship with Kim.

Nonetheless, US officials have worried that a second summit between Trump and Kim is premature and would hand North Korea too much in return for little concrete and verifiable progress toward denuclearization.

Arriving at the UN headquarters on Monday morning, Trump also touted how much the world has changed since he threatened during his UN speech a year ago to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the US or its allies.

“This is a different world. That was a very dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time,” Trump said.

In a sign of the diverging views between Trump and his top foreign policy aides, just a day earlier US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she believed talk of a second summit was premature.

“I think Secretary Pompeo needs to have a couple more conversations before the president meets with Kim again,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”