(CNSNews.com) – Ahead of his summit with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi this week, President Trump said on Sunday evening he was not pushing for a quick denuclearization deal, as long as North Korea continues to refrain from testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
“I’m not in a rush, I don’t want to rush anybody,” Trump said at the annual Governors' Ball at the White House. “I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy.”
Trump reiterated that while he was not in a hurry to achieve a denuclearization deal, the U.S. was also in the meantime not easing sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang.
“I’m not pushing for speed, but we’re not removing the sanctions,” he said.
Trump told the state governors that he could not say what the summit in Vietnam on Wednesday and Thursday would bring, but that he and Kim do “have a chance” to achieve total denuclearization of a region that was very unstable when he came into office.
He repeated his contention that the impoverished Stalinist country could become an economic powerhouse, given its strategic location between China, Russia and South Korea, and its “hard-working people.”.
“He has a chance to have a country that is so vibrant economically, maybe one of the most in the world,” Trump said.
But, he added, he has told Kim that “you can't do that if you're going to keep nuclear; if you do nuclear, that can't ever happen.”
Trump has come under fire for speaking about his relationship with the North Korean dictator in upbeat terms. He did so again on Sunday night.
“It’s a very interesting thing to say, but I’ve developed a very, very good relationship. We’ll see what that means.”
He said Kim has “never had a relationship” with an American leader, or many relationships elsewhere for that matter.