President Trump on Wednesday appeared optimistic about a much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying there is a “good chance” the dictator will do what is right for “his people and for humanity.”
On Twitter, Trump said he had received a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping indicated that his own meeting with Kim had gone well and that Kim is looking forward to meeting Trump.
Kim reportedly met with Xi on an "unofficial visit" to Beijing this week. The White House said Tuesday that the Chinese government had briefed the U.S. on the visit and passed on a personal message from Xi to Trump.
Trump agreed last month to meet with Kim by May, after months of fiery rhetoric between the two countries and escalating rounds of sanctions in response to North Korea’s continued weapons program and nuclear testing.
At the United Nations in September, Trump called Kim “Rocket Man” and warned that Kim was on a “suicide mission.”
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he said.
As part of the agreement for talks, South Korean officials told Trump that Kim was committed to denuclearization and was prepared to halt nuclear testing.
Kim is expected to hold a separate summit with South Korean President Moon Jae in April.
On Wednesday, Trump said that “unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.