President Trump, Kim Jong Un hold surprise meeting at DMZ

Mark Tokola, vice president of the Korea Economic Institute of America, discusses the latest Trump-Kim meeting.
8:17 | 07/01/19

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Transcript for President Trump, Kim Jong Un hold surprise meeting at DMZ
Donald Trump becoming the first American US president. In office to step foot inside North Korea setting the stage for a possible reboot in nuclear talks. But even as the administration now appears to be losing ground with Iran that country today announcing it has officially blown. Its uranium enrichment caps imposed by the 2015 deal. For more on what's next I'm joined now by our White House reporter Catherine folders State Department reporter. Connor fit again. And mark to coal the vice president of Korea and economic institute of America former diplomat. In Korea mark thanks so much for comment encounter turned out want to start with you though how did this a historic visit. Com about out to think of lot of people were sort of surprised over the weekend Sunday morning to see these pictures. I'm eighty I you see those historic images of of that hastily arranged visit the president. Essentially asked for Kim Jung and to meet him in in the DMZ via tweets so you see. Him right there being greeted by Kim Jung and getting ready to walk. In two North Korea you see him about to set foot there for the first time and not the president said he was opted. Optimistic about this meeting he was even. A tweeting today that it was great to call on camera chairman Kim of North Korea to have are very well covered meeting presumably referring to the media coverage. Good things can happen for all DeVon you see this historical. Images right there but what's unclear is what exactly this will accomplish in North Korea's nuclear program it's still fully. In place so how does this translate to a deal a fourth the president said he's optimistic he insisted. That progress has been made through both of their previous comments. But still what ultimately it will come from that's. Mark you have tracked career for some time and spent some time over there in the region didn't watch Democrats over the past. 24 hours attacked the president say that this was a made for TV summit the vice former vice president Joseph Biden. I just put out a statement a few minutes ago he said trump is elevated a murderous tyrant for almost nothing. Do you think that's a fair characterization of where we're at. I would not him it's fair I think that the meeting across the DMZ between trump and Kim was a solution to a problem. The problem once after the Henry breakdown on how to get the talks restart. This is a way to do that. So we seem one step closer to maybe resume mean. Some sort of negotiation of some current U I think both both central and constructed their negotiators narrative get back together. And trust Dixon progress. What do you make what do you make of the criticism though that he that the president has basically. Normalized. He can someone who has such a horrible record and on human rights maintains all those weapons and and it. Would you be comfortable with simply a freeze which seems to be that would possibly where were headed here is that. Was that it a passable solution if we just sort of make peace in their status quo for awhile. You know not not indefinitely inferno it's the right we'd start you know the freeze and in the ideas yet to trend line towards deportation not towards a bigger program. So anything other than to go belligerence is is a good step forward at this stage on both sides are some pressure him into Kim Jong-Il in two's under great pressure from the international sanctions. So we can't wait forever. Can't wait forever Connor Finnegan joins us at the State Department Connor. As mark alluded to their North Korea hasn't hasn't actually tested a nuclear weapon or fired. An Intercontinental ballistic missile for some time but heavy actually taken any steps toward denuclearization they did sign that packed. Back in Singapore couple years ago. Yet it's right given over a year ago now they sign that pact to commit themselves to the complete denuclearization of the creeped into a but what was striking on Sunday is that secretary Pompeo said they still don't have a definition and agreed definition of what that even means as he said. You know it's been months it's been over earned nearly two years now since they. Ten less tested a nuclear device. But they've done nothing to dismantle their existing weapons program and if anything you could argue that given the men a time that they've had since these summits. They've been able to expand the program. To perfect their their capabilities. We saw a short while ago the test fired short range ballistic missiles. Which president trump dismissed because they weren't long range missiles. But they've done nothing to get rid of the year existing nuclear weapons stockpile which US officials say could be as many as sixty nuclear weapons. It's it's incredible mark. They sit on that stockpile you just set a freeze it be a good king. Essentially for the short term just a bias some time did you think Kim Jung then can be trusted. And attitude to take it further do you think he's just waiting trump out in them go back to his stint. His activities less. Two different questions whether you trust or not is kind of girl went through the idea negotiations and verification museums and is to is to make sure the people who have exposed. We don't have to trust him. That decided good agreement see the action seen action. And correct and and capture new what is your look your reporting today remark alluded to another possible summit good thing that the talks restarted. What are you hearing from White House officials and end there was that mention of possibly bring Kim Jung went to the White House. AL was as mark was saying these negotiations this meeting is a step. In the right direction for more negotiations and another sum it look another summit definitely. Is on the table now whether that happens at the White House or or somewhere else this to be determined but. As you saw and those images the president right on the spot invited Kim Jung and to come here to the White House so we'll see whether next finance. And what would your advice be needed this White House mark if you were in that Oval Office today and what they needed to do next. Would be to schedule so they wouldn't be a good idea littering can hear. And I think what he's happened next is what they said they would do to DMZ which is start negotiations. I'm looking for a deal among for approximately lower level staff level staff who has to do it there's no way in the world the president trumpet component to sit down to them and drafting nuclear agreement. I asked my staff level. So odd for me questions are whether Kim and don't from trust each other. It's where they trust your negotiators we will make a deal. Doesn't appear that they've done that so far well so far it's been very top down in the last November to start but it has to if there were the level will progress will not be. We do here that a lot finally thanks mark wanted to go back to Connor fitting end for one note. On Iran Connor the IAEA today said that the year Ryan's have actually blown their caps. On it and I uranium enrichment is for between fifteen deal what does that actually mean is there it is there really any possibility that we could. Roll things back to where where that deal left that there is this are we now back in now uncharted territory towards your reversible problem. Yeah I dividend disappointing it's still hard to save the European Union can now in a statement shortly after the UN nuclear watchdog agency. Confirmed that Iran had breached these caps. And they said that they're going to monitor the situation and see who we know whether or not Iran would be willing to bring back. The progress that they may not on their enrichment levels so far Iran is that is making good on a threat really it would they said it to the European Union is that if you do not make up for the fact that these US sanctions are causing. So much economic. People and turmoil in Iran then we will renege on our part of the agreement. So far though they've they've made this one priest they promised the next week or so that they will enrich uranium at levels higher than is allowed. In the deal not just you know the stockpiles that they have but also the percentage of in Richmond. But it's that the US has has been slowly monitoring the situation. Calling on the Iran eons to abide by their commitments. The question I think at this point is even if there was a different administration in power in January 20 when he won. What did there even be a deal left to solve itch. Art car thank you so much and and we should say. The white has just put out a statement minutes ago seen maximum pressure. On the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders. Alter their course of action SOA no movement there Mike to cola. With the Lou in your organization markers the Korea economic institute of America thanks you so much for coming here thanks again to Conner and to Catherine.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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