It’s a great honor to participate in the summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, and I’m proud to be the man who made this happen. I really feel like a statesman now. I’m more mature and modest as a leader responsible for the lives of countless millions of people not only in the United States but in Asia and around the world. Arriving in Singapore Sunday night I’m inspired but quite tired as I exit Air Force Once, take the rail in my left hand, and slowly walk down the steps, waving a little. On the tarmac I only shake a couple of hands before getting into my limousine. I’m pretty worn out but have the energy of two young men and will be ready to go at nine a.m. Tuesday when Kim and I publicly shake hands and have our photos taken before meeting privately for two hours. Only our translators will join us.
I hope Kim likes me. I love to be liked. Doesn’t everyone? He probably wants me to like him, too. And I think I will. I’ll certainly like him if he likes me, and if we like each other I know we can make a great deal. I’ve already told everyone what I’m going to tell Kim. If he agrees to begin taking verifiable steps toward denuclearization, we will help transform his country into an incredible place. This will be his only chance. I think he’ll agree. I really do. That’s why I’ve been calling Kim a very smart and honorable man who’s warm and gracious. He’s all of those things and so am I.
We can work things out. I don’t want to strangle his isolated and backward land with more sanctions. Sanctions haven’t slowed down his nuclear weapons development at all. We need to make a deal. We need to make America safe again, and we need to make North Korea great. If we can’t do those things, my advisors who want maximum pressure, guys like John Bolton, may convince me war is the only way. I don’t want that and neither do you.