EPeak Daily

Timeline: How Trump and Kim Jong-un went from threats to invitations

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President Trump says he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May, while Kim says he will suspend North Korea’s nuclear program.

Flashback: Just two months ago, Trump was warning that nuclear war with North Korea was closer than ever before. Now, he’s planning an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with North Korea’s leader.

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February 2017

North Korea tests a ballistic missile just three weeks into Trump’s presidency, while he is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Abe. Trump and Abe host a press conference denouncing the test.

April 2017

Beginning in April, North Korea conducts nine separate missile tests in a three month span, an unprecedented stretch of testing for the regime.

June 2017

During a visit to Washington from South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Trump warns that “the era of strategic patience with the North Korea regime has failed … and frankly that patience is over.”

August 2017

  • Trump tells reporters that North Korea will “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” if they continue threatening the U.S.
  • Hours after Trump’s “fire and fury” comments, North Korea says it is considering firing missiles at Guam.
  • North Korea tests a ballistic missile over Japan, in what Japan’s Prime Minster Shinzo Abe calls an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat.”

September 2017

  • Trump dubs Kim “Rocket Man,” a nickname he continues to use for months. Kim responds: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
  • Trump addresses the U.N. General Assembly, announcing: “The U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

October 2017:

November 2017

North Korea launches a nuclear-capable ICBM it says can reach the entire U.S. mainland. Trump vows to “handle” the situation.

January 2018

  • Trump kicks off the new year saying the U.S. is “closer…to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been — I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”

February 2018:

  • In a show of unity, North and South Korea enter the Olympics together and field a joint women’s hockey team.
  • A meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, is cancelled two hours before it was supposed to happen.

March 2018

  • North Korea expresses a willingness to discuss denuclearization if the regime can be assured of its safety, after talks with South Korea.
  • Trump tweets there is “[p]ossible progress being made in talks with North Korea…May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”
  • Trump agrees to meet with Kim by May, after the regime promises to halt nuclear testing.

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