Washington: President Donald Trump on Friday said the date and location have been set for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, building suspense for the unprecedented talks and hinting at progress in freeing three Americans held in North Korea.
The White House has said the first meeting between sitting US and North Korean leaders could take place in the coming weeks. Trump is expected to push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
The demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea and Singapore are among the top choices being considered for the summit. Trump this week expressed a preference for the DMZ but also said Singapore was possible.
The Peace House at the DMZ was the venue for a meeting last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump`s national security adviser, John Bolton, was to discuss the summit with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, at the White House on Friday, officials said.
Trump, a former reality TV star who likes to build suspense about upcoming presidential news, did not give a date or location for the talks and White House officials did not immediately provide further clarity.
The US government is looking into reports that three Americans arrested in recent years in North Korea had recently been relocated from a labor camp to a hotel near Pyongyang, as expectations grow that they will be released before the summit.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Thursday that if North Korea were to free the three Americans, "We certainly would see this as a sign of good will" ahead of the Trump-Kim summit.
Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House, suggested activity was under way involving the captives.
"We`re having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the (U.S.) hostages. I think you`re going to see very good things," Trump told reporters.
Trump also told reporters on Friday that he was not considering reducing the US military`s presence in South Korea as part of the negotiations.
"Troops are not on the table," he said before a flight to Dallas, Texas, where he will address the National Rifle Association. But he also said he would eventually like to bring them home.