0551 GMT December 16, 2018
"I think they want to make peace. I think it's time," Trump said Saturday while addressing a crowd of supporters at a political rally in the US state of Pennsylvania. He then emphasized that he believed North Korean officials when they said, "They are not sending missiles up" as the two sides work out the arrangements for a historic meeting, presstv.com reported.
"And I think we've shown great strength. I think that's also important," Trump further added.
Trump also asserted earlier in the day that he thinks Pyongyang will abide by its vow to suspend missile tests while he prepares for the summit with Kim, due to take place by May.
He underlined in a tweet that North Korea has refrained from such tests since November, noting that Kim "has promised not to do so through our meetings,” and that “I believe they will honor that commitment."
The development came after the US president stunned many inside and outside his administration on Thursday when he told South Korean officials who had just returned from talks in North Korea that he would be willing to accept Kim's invitation for a bilateral meeting.
Trump also wrote in a tweet message on Saturday that China was pleased that he was pursuing a diplomatic solution rather than going with the ominous alternative and that Japan is ‘very enthusiastic’ about the agreement for talks.
Just hours before Trump made his announcement on Thursday, however, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had emphasized that direct talks with Pyongyang were ‘a long way’ off.
Trump further praised a potential future agreement with the nuclear-armed North as ‘very good’ for the international community as a whole.
"The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World. Time and place to be determined," he wrote in a Friday tweet.
Meanwhile, North Korea's UN Ambassador Pak Song-il credited the turnabout to Kim's ‘broadminded and resolute’ decision to contribute to peace and security in the Korean Peninsula.
"The United States should know and understand our position and should further contribute to the peace and security-building in the Korean Peninsula with [a] sincere position and serious attitude," Pak wrote in a Friday email to the US daily The Washington Post.
The American president had previously threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen." Trump has also repeatedly urged China to do more to pressure North Korea into abandoning its nuclear program.