Donald Trump says Kim Jong Un summit date and venue agreed, announcement soon

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Trump speaks to the press before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump said on Friday (May 4) a date and place have been set for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and will be announced soon.

"We have a date, we have a location," Trump told reporters at the White House on his way to board the Marine One presidential helicopter.

Trump didn't reveal either the date or place of the summit.

He also expressed optimism that three Americans held in a North Korean prison would be released soon, telling reporters "a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages."

Later, as he boarded the presidential plane Air Force One, Trump said the US is "doing very well with the hostages."

Trump heads into the meeting hoping to reach an agreement for North Korea to "denuclearise."

Trump has praised Kim's rapid steps toward resolving the standoff and expressed optimism about the possibility of making a deal.

Trump said the withdrawal of US troops stationed in South Korea is "not on the table" in the negotiations with North Korea. But, he added "I have to tell you at some point into the future, I would like to save the money. You know, we have 32,000 troops there."

The meeting would be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president, though former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have traveled to North Korea since leaving office to negotiate the release of prisoners and to discuss potential diplomatic talks.

Then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang in 2000 to meet with Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, who was the North Korean leader then.

Trump said earlier this week that he liked the idea of meeting at the Demilitarised Zone because "if things work out, there is a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country."

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on April 27 at the Peace House in Panmunjom last week after Kim walked across the military demarcation line. Kim has also held a meeting with China's foreign minister.

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