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Remarks Prior to an Expanded Bilateral Meeting With Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea and an Exchange With Reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam

February 28, 2019

President Trump. Are you all having a good time in Hanoi?

Q. How's it going, Mr. President?

President Trump. Everybody having a good time? Everybody? Jeff [Jeff Mason, Reuters]? I hope.

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program

Q. Chairman Kim, are you ready to denuclearize? Are you ready to give up your nuclear weapons?

President Trump. You'd better be careful.

Chairman Kim. If I'm not willing to do that, I won't be here right now.

President Trump. That's a good answer. Wow. That might be the best answer you've ever heard. [Laughter]

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program

Q. Are you willing to take concrete steps to denuclearize or not quite yet?

Chairman Kim. That is what we are discussing right now. [Laughter]

President Trump. And don't raise your voice, please. This isn't like dealing with Trump. [Laughter]

Chairman Kim. They all seem to be, you know, anxious to know.

President Trump. I think they're anxious, and they're calm.

Human Rights/North Korea-U.S. Relations

Q. Chairman Kim, are you discussing human rights with President Trump?

President Trump. We're discussing everything.

So I just want to thank everybody for being here. We're having very productive discussions. We'll see where it all goes. But we are having very productive discussions, and we appreciate it. I think we're having a press conference later on, and we'll then be heading out back to our respective homes.

But yes, I think we've had very, very productive discussions, and the relationship is as good as it's ever been. Better. I think better.

Q. Is the time right for a discussion——

[At this point, President Trump spoke to the interpreter as follows.]

President Trump. Go ahead. Do you want to—you have to talk up. [The interpreter translated President Trump's previous remarks into Korean.]

North Korea-U.S. Relations

Q. President Trump, is the time right for an end of the war with a political declaration?

President Trump. A political what?

Q. Political statement ending the war. Is the time right for that?

President Trump. I think that no matter what happens, we're going to ultimately have a deal that's really good for Chairman Kim and his country and for us. I think, ultimately, that's what's going to happen. That's where it's all leading. It doesn't mean we're doing it in 1 day or 2 days, but it's all leading toward a very big success.

And I really believe that, with this great leadership, I really believe that North Korea is going to be very successful, and economically, it's going to be something very, very special.

Go ahead.

[The interpreter translated President Trump's previous remarks into Korean.]

North Korea-U.S. Relations

Q. Chairman Kim, are you ready to allow the United States to have an office in Pyongyang? Are you ready for that step?

[An official from the North Korean delegation spoke in Korean, and the interpreter translated his remarks as follows.]

Interpreter. Is it better to leave—let the media go?

President Trump. Yes, I think we will. I think we will.

It's actually an interesting question though. I would like to actually hear that answer, because it's actually not a bad idea.

Chairman Kim. Well, I think that is something which was welcomable.

Q. Is it welcome? Today? It would be announced?

President Trump. I actually think it's a good idea. [Laughter] Both ways. You know, both ways. I like the idea.

Chairman Kim. If you would kindly give us more time between us, because, you know, 1 minute—even 1 minute—is more precious to us. Thank you.

President Trump. Thank you all very much. Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:03 a.m. at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel. Chairman Kim and his delegation spoke in Korean, and their remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to an Expanded Bilateral Meeting With Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea and an Exchange With Reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332829

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