Quebec City, June 10 (IANS) US President Donald Trump made an early departure on Saturday from the Group of Seven (G7) Summit amid tensions with Canada over the subjects of trade and NAFTA, and headed for Singapore where he will meet on June 12 with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The delegation, which besides the President includes White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump’s economic adviser, John Bolton, took off on Air Force One, Efe reported.
Trump left behind some feelings of tension between himself and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the US President’s insistence on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) being automatically dissolved every five years and threats that the US will stop trading with nations that maintain tariffs on his country’s exports.
“The President will continue to say what he says,” Trudeau responded, knowing that his government has complained to Trump about the tough US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
“I have made it clear to the president that it (imposing counter tariffs) is not something we relish doing, but it’s something that we absolutely will do.”
“Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” the Prime Minister said.
Before leaving, Trump gave a press conference at the seat of the G7 Summit, during which he spoke of his imminent meeting with Kim, and said he would know “within the first minute” whether the North Korean leader is serious about negotiating with the US.
Asked how he would know so quickly, Trump said it would be because of “my touch, my feel – that’s what I do,” and that he wasn’t about to waste his time if he found the North Korean leader wasn’t being sincere.
On his flight to Singapore, the president tweeted his feelings of optimism about the meeting.
“I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World,” he said on his Twitter account.
In the same string of messages, Trump said that both he and Kim “will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before: create peace and great prosperity for his land.”
“I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!” the US President said.