KEY POINTS

  • President Trump does not want another nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un prior to the November presidential election, CNN reported Tuesday
  • Trump likely thinks that a deal with North Korea is not crucial to his reelection
  • Nuclear negotiations have been stalled since October

President Trump has reportedly told his advisers not to schedule a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un until after the presidential election in November, sources told CNN.

Trump apparently does not view North Korea as crucial to his reelection platform. Trump did not mention the country in his recent State of the Union address.

The U.S. and North Korea have been in negotiations for a nuclear deal more than two years, with Pyongyang pursuing a path to denuclearization in exchange for reduced sanctions from Washington. The last time U.S. and North Korean negotiators met was in October in Sweden, but the diplomatic talks fell through on the first day of meetings. 

Trump met Kim for negotiations in Vietnam in February 2019 and in Singapore in June 2018. The meetings did not reach any concrete agreement on the nuclear issue.

North Korea has recently said it felt “deceived” by the U.S., with Pyongyang wanting Washington to remove sanctions to resume negotiations. In December, Kim threatened the U.S. with a “Christmas gift,” which analysts interpreted to mean a ballistic missile test, but Pyongyang never followed through on the threat.

Trump and Kim have had a warm personal relationship, sending "friendly" letters to one another. In June, Kim met Trump on the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone, making Trump the first sitting President to step onto the territory divides the Korean Peninsula roughly in half.

Trump and Kim did not always have such a rosy relationship, however. In September 2017, Trump mocked Kim in front of the United Nations General Assembly, calling him“rocket man.” In response, Kim said Trump was “mentally deranged.”