U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he is in "no rush" to make a deal with North Korea as he entered his first day of formal talks with Kim Jong-un.
"Speed is not that important to me," Trump said in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, where he is meeting Kim. "I have great respect for Chairman Kim, and I have great respect for his country, and I believe that it will be something economically that will be almost hard to compete with for many countries. It has such potential."
The U.S.-North Korean summit is the second since Trump took office amid heightened tensions over the North's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing. Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since Trump and Kim last met in June in Singapore, and while there have been no additional tests, the North has made further progress toward denuclearization contingent on the easing of biting international sanctions.
Washington, however, has insisted that the lifting of sanctions be the result of successful talks.
Asked if he is confident the two sides can reach a deal, Kim told reporters in a possibly unprecedented response to a shouted question, "It's too early to tell, but I wouldn't say that I'm pessimistic."
"From what I feel right now, I do feel that good results will come out," he added, as he prepared to go into a one-on-one meeting with Trump.
The two leaders met the night before for dinner alongside a small group of their top officials.
While it is unclear if they will be able to broker an agreement that will pave the way for additional progress towards the full lifting of sanctions or the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a White House schedule does have Trump and Kim participating in a joint signing ceremony Thursday afternoon.
Trump is then expected to take part in a press conference.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington, D.C.