DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump sit down before their one-on-one chat during the second U.S.-DPRK summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019. (Photo/Agencies)
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that it was possible for him to hold a third meeting with the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Un.
Trump made the remarks while speaking to the media together with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in before their bilateral meeting at the White House.
According to the full transcript provided by the White House, when asked by reporters if he plans to meet Kim for a third summit, Trump said that "it could happen. A third summit could happen. And it's step by step."
"It's not a fast process; I've never said it would be. It's step by step," he said. "I enjoy the summits. I enjoy being with the Chairman. I think it's been very productive."
When asked if a three-way summit with Kim and Moon is also possible, Trump said "that could happen also."
For his part, Moon said that the personal diplomacy between Trump and Kim has brought "dramatic, significant reduction of military tension on the Korean Peninsula."
"Now peace has prevailed," he said. "Now we believe that you will be able to solve this problem through a dialogue."
Noting that "the Hanoi Summit is not actually -- was not a source of disappointment, but it is actually the part of a bigger process that will lead us to a bigger agreement," Moon said that efforts need to be made so as to "maintain the momentum of dialogue and also express the positive outlook, regarding the third U.S.-North Korea Summit, to the international community that this will be held in the near future."
After ending the summit in Vietnam's Hanoi on Feb. 28 without an agreement, Trump told a press conference that Kim demanded relief from sanctions against Pyongyang "in their entirety" in exchange for denuclearizing a "large portion" of the DPRK's nuclear program, something the United States could not agree to.
Dismissing Trump's claim, DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has said that the DPRK only proposed partial removal of the sanctions, wanting those impeding the livelihood of their people to be removed first.
Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Wednesday that for dialogue to continue and make headway, the key is to address the legitimate concerns of the parties concerned in a balanced manner, and advance denuclearization and the establishment of a peace mechanism for the peninsula by following a phased approach with synchronized steps as a package solution.