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(LEAD) Trump: I've prepared all my life for N. Korea summit

All News 06:53 June 09, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks on human rights in last 3 paras)

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he has been preparing all his life for his upcoming high-stakes meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit is due to take place in Singapore Tuesday, with the two sides trying to reach a deal on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for security guarantees.

A day earlier Trump said he was "very well prepared" but didn't think he had to prepare very much because the meeting will be about "attitude" and "willingness to get things done."

"No, I didn't say that," the president told reporters before leaving on a trip to Canada, responding to whether he was serious about not needing to prepare. "I said I've been preparing all my life. I always believe in preparation, but I've been preparing all my life."

Trump's exact words Thursday were, "But I think I've been preparing for this summit for a long time."

He blasted the "fake news" media for failing to "pick that up" and pointed to the election loss of his former rival, Hillary Clinton.

"You know, these one-week preparations, they don't work. Just ask Hillary what happened to her in the debates," he said. "So I've been preparing for this all my life."

The White House has said that Trump has been receiving daily briefings on North Korea from his national security team.

In recent comments Trump played down expectations the nuclear issue will be resolved in one meeting, and on Thursday dangled the possibility of inviting Kim to the White House for a follow-up if next week's summit goes well.

Asked if North Korea's alleged human rights abuses will be addressed in Singapore, he said, "We'll bring it up."

Trump had earlier said he would probably discuss the issue with Kim, "maybe in great detail."

Whether to include human rights on the agenda has been a source of contention, with some arguing the U.S. cannot ultimately move to normalize relations with a regime accused of serious human rights violations. Others say the initial summit should focus on denuclearization, without being distracted by other issues.

This AP file photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump. (Yonhap)


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