Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un should not be left alone together, an expert has warned.
The US president recently accepted an invitation to meet the North Korean leader in the coming months.
Trump administration officials have said there will be no more conditions imposed on North Korea before a meeting of the two nations’ leaders.
Although it’s reported that Kim Jong-un is keen for President Trump to sign a peace treaty, experts are now concerned what might be said if the two notoriously volatile meet in private.
‘I shudder to think what Trump might say and how Kim Jong-un would exploit that.
‘I would advise against that sort of encounter,’said Malcolm Davis, Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Members of the US Congress said they worry that Trump acted impulsively in agreeing to meet with Kim, before negotiators for both countries had a chance to set some goals the leaders could agree to.
‘But the important thing is the diplomatic work that has to go in before such a meeting. A meeting like that would be kind of an afterthought after things are negotiated.
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‘Here it looks as if, you know, that’s kind of the opening gambit. And that’s a little worrisome,’ said Senator Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic.
Deputy White House spokesperson Raj Shah said: ‘This potential meeting has been agreed to, there are no additional conditions being stipulated, but, again they – they cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing and they can’t publicly object to the U.S.-South Korea planned military exercises.’
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the unexpected meeting would give Trump a chance ‘to sit down and see if he can cut a deal’ with Kim over the North’s nuclear programme.
‘The president has been very clear in what the objective is here. And that is to get rid of nuclear weapons on the (Korean) peninsula,’ Mr Mnuchin said.
The administration officials credited toughened economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations, and pushed by the United States, with helping bring Kim to the brink of negotiations.
‘Our policy is pressure, is pressure from our partners and allies around the world, pressure to the United Nations, pressure through China, these have had an impact. It’s impacted Kim Jong Un’s behavior. It’s impacted his conduct,’ Mr Shah said.
Kim’s offer to meet was relayed to Trump by a South Korean government delegation that briefed the president on their meeting with Kim last week in North Korea’s capital.
Trump said he believes North Korea will abide by its pledge to suspend missile tests while he prepares for the summit. He noted in a tweet that North Korea has refrained from such tests since November and said Kim ‘has promised not to do so through our meetings’.
‘I believe they will honour that commitment,’ the president said.
Later, at a political rally in Pennsylvania, when Trump mentioned Kim’s name, the crowd booed. But Trump said: ‘No, it’s very positive … no, after the meeting you may do that, but now we have to be very nice because let’s see what happens, let’s see what happens.’