President Donald Trump said Thursday he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore.
“The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th,” the president wrote on Twitter. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”
Singapore -- almost 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) south of Pyongyang -- represents neutral turf for the two leaders. The city-state of 5.5 million people boasts security partnerships with the U.S., a North Korean embassy and strong ties with China.
The government there also has a history of putting together high-profile diplomatic events at short notice, hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic 2015 meeting with his then-counterpart from Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou. Still, Kim’s agreement to travel so far from the safety of Pyongyang -- the farthest he’s ever been as leader -- could be seen as a concession by North Korea.
Trump heads into the summit hoping to gain an agreement from Kim to give up his nuclear weapons and end North Korea’s ballistic missile program. U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that the regime is on the verge of being able to mount a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.
In what is viewed as an early diplomatic concession, Kim released three U.S. prisoners held in North Korea. Trump greeted them when they returned to Washington early Thursday morning.