- President Trump confirmed reports today that Mike Pompeo went to Pyongyang
- Trump said the 'meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed' between Kim and the man trying to become America's top diplomat
- President Trump confirmed Tuesday during a summit with the Japanese PM that he's still planning to meet with Kim in late May or early June
- Says he won't go, though, if it doesn't seem fruitful, and he'll get up and leave in the middle if he senses the same thing
- Said Tuesday direct talks had taken place with North Korea at the highest levels
- President hinted later that he was referring to a conversation with Kim
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com In Palm Beach, Florida
Published: 19:02 EDT, 18 April 2018 | Updated: 20:22 EDT, 18 April 2018
President Donald Trump says he'll walk out of a meeting with Kim Jong-un if he feels that talks are unproductive.
'If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting, and will continue what we're doing or whatever it is that will continue,' he said Wednesday during a news conference.
Trump said he hopes the meeting with Kim will be 'very successful.'
'If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go,' he asserted. 'But something will happen. So I like always remaining flexible, and will remain flexible here.'
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President Donald Trump says he'll walk out of a meeting with Kim Jong-un if he feels that talks are unproductive
Trump this morning revealed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo met Kim in North Korea earlier this month.
Trump tweeted that the 'meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed' between Kim and America's chief spy.
At a luncheon this afternoon, Trump said that Pompeo 'had a great meeting with Kim Jong un, and got along with him really well' because Pompeo 'is that kind of a guy.'
Yesterday, Trump set off alarm bells when he said the United States had engaged in 'extremely high level' talks with North Korea, later hinting that they go all the way up to Kim.
His comments at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night came just before reports emerged that Pompeo had secretly visited Pyongyang to meet with Kim.
Trump had strongly suggested earlier in the day that someone from the U.S. had spoken to Kim in preparation for a planned summit between the two leaders, and it might even be him.
Asked by reporters as he walked into dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Abe who the senior North Korean officials are that the U.S. is speaking with and if he'd personally talked directly to Kim, Trump stopped dead in his tracks, grinned and told them, 'yes.'
President Trump gave secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo his full-throated support earlier on Wednesday as a clandestine trip he took to North Korea came under scrutiny
The president confirmed in a tweet that the CIA director Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang
He rolled back the apparent confirmation a few minutes later in another encounter with press, creating confusion about what he'd originally meant.
'Well let's leave it a little bit short of that,' Trump said of direct talks with Kim the second time around. 'But we have talks at the highest level, and it's going very well, but we'll see what happens.'
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders immediately sent out a statement clarifying that the talks were not with Kim himself.
'The President said the administration has had talks at the highest levels and added that they were not with him directly,' she said.
The president did not, however, tell reporters that the talks weren't with Kim. He merely said, 'Let's leave it a little bit short of that.'
A half hour later, the Washington Post reported that the CIA director went on a clandestine mission to North Korea to meet with Kim over Easter weekend.
President Trump, pictured on Tuesday evening having dinner with Melania, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie said yesterday that the United States has engaged in 'extremely high level' talks with North Korea and hinted they go all the way up to reclusive dictator Kim Jong-un
Half an hour after Trump's comments, a report said Mike Pompeo (left), the CIA director and Secretary of State nominee, had traveled to North Korea to meet with Kim Jon-un (right) over the Easter weekend
Trump said during a working lunch at Mar-a-Lago with the U.S, and Japanese delegations that he expected Pomepo's nomination to pass the U.S. Senate
Asked by reporters as they entered the dinner who the senior North Korean officials are that the U.S. is speaking with and if he'd spoken directly to 'him,' Trump stopped dead in his tracks, grinned and told them, 'yes', before rolling the apparent confirmation that he'd personally spoken to Kim back
Sanders in a follow up statement did not deny that the trip had taken place.
She simply said: 'The administration does not comment on the CIA Director's travel.'
Trump overruled his press secretary this morning and confirmed the trip outright.
'Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed,' he tweeted. 'Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!'
Pompeo has been paving the way for an expected meeting between Trump and Kim.
The CIA director has a close relationship with the president, unlike former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who Trump fired last month in a tweet a few days after agreeing to an invitation from Kim to meet.
At a confirmation hearing last week that would have taken place after his trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo told senators on the Foreign Relations Committee that he was 'optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the North Korean leader' can have a conversation that 'will set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic outcome that...America and the world so desperately need.'
The president confirmed Tuesday that a face-to-face meeting between himself and Kim was still on track to take place in the next few weeks.
'I look forward to meeting with Kim Jong-un. And hopefully that will be a success. And maybe it will be, and maybe it won't be. We don't know,' Trump said. 'But I can say this: They do respect us. We are respectful of them. And we're going to see what happens.'
Unless negotiations go offer the rails, Trump said the talk wold take place in late May or early June in one of five undisclosed locations he said are under consideration.
'We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels, with North Korea. And I really believe there's a lot of good will,' the U.S. president said. 'As I always say, we'll see what happens. Because ultimately, it's the end result that counts.'
Locations under discussion were thought to include Beijing, Geneva and Panmunjom, a city inside the Demilitarized Zone.
Sweden has also offered to assist with a meeting, and Mongolia's former president recommended his country's summit city, Ulaanbaatar.
Trump said Washington had been ruled out, affirming experts' expectations that the meeting would not take place on either of the leaders' home turf.
US President Donald Trump greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives for talks at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday
DEATH GRIP: President Trump yanked Abe in for one of his famous locked and loaded handshakes
Trump said during the joint appearance that the U.S. and Japan 'are locked and we are very unified' in their approach to North Korea
Trump commented on the scheduled talks with Kim on Tuesday as he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago for a two-day summit.
Trump said Japan and the U.S. are 'locked and we are very unified' when it comes to North Korea.
He delivered the remarks after welcoming Abe to his Palm Beach property for an afternoon meeting that both he and the Japanese leader said yielded great progress on the trade and security issues at hand.
'On those two points, we actually successfully forged a mutual understanding,' Abe said. 'So I'm very happy to see the outcome of our one-on-one discussion.'
At a briefing Friday, a senior administration official insisted the relationship between Abe and Trump is as good as it has ever been.
The leaders have been 'in constant contact' since the president accepted Kim's invitation to meet, the person insisted.
'The President has a great deal of respect for Prime Minister Abe's views on Northeast Asian security. He will certainly want to know what additional thoughts Prime Minister Abe has beyond those that he's already shared,' the official added.
The official said the Japanese PM had never asked Trump not to meet with Kim.
'I don't want to go into their private conversations,' the senior U.S. official said, 'but Prime Minister Abe has very, very good ideas and advice that he'll be sharing.'
Abe commended Trump on Tuesday for having the 'courage' to meet with Kim.
Still, he said he wanted to 'underscore the importance of achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization, as well as the abandonment of missile programs of North Korea' in their talks.
US President Donald Trump greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives for talks at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach on Tuesday
Conversation today with Abe centered on global security and trade will pick back up Thursday and apex with a joint press conference.
Summit is taking place in Florida at Trump's private, for-profit club, Mar-a-Lago
Trump said in a March 10 tweet that he'd spoken to Abe and the Japanese was 'very enthusiastic about talks with North Korea.'
After his first round of talks with the Japanese PM on Tuesday, Trump agreed that a good deal of progress on the military, trade and North Korea had already come about.
Matt Pottinger, the director of National Security Council's Asian Affairs division, meanwhile said he did not expect that Abe would leave Mar-a-Lago 'with anything other than a high degree of confidence in the health of the alliance, including as we go into a summit with the North Koreans.'
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