Donald Trump now says no time limit to denuclearise North Korea

Kim and Trump shake hands following a signing ceremony at their historic summit in Singapore.
Kim and Trump shake hands following a signing ceremony at their historic summit in Singapore.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (July 17) there is no hurry to denuclearise North Korea under his accord with Kim Jong Un - a shift in tone from when the US leader said the process would start very soon.

"Discussions are ongoing and they're going very, very well," Trump told reporters.

"We have no time limit. We have no speed limit."

Trump said he discussed North Korea with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at their summit in Helsinki.

"President Putin is going to be involved in the sense that he is with us," Trump said.

The Republican president met with Kim on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in Singapore during which the North Korean leader repeated a pledge to denuclearise his country.

But the accord did not spell out a timetable for the process or say how it would be carried out.

 

Diplomats are now expected to hammer out the details.

More than a month later, no concrete progress has been reported and North Korea has complained the Americans are making unilateral demands.

Before the Singapore summit, the Trump administration said denuclearisation should start "without delay," and after the meeting, it spoke of the process beginning "very quickly."

A day after the meeting, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the bulk of North Korea's denuclearisation should be completed by the end of Trump's term in 2020.