While announcing an upcoming meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump predicted that North Korea would grow into an "economic powerhouse" under Kim's leadership.
Trump will meet with Kim for the second time in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28.
"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse," Trump wrote Friday. "He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of rocket—an Economic one!"
North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but… https://t.co/XQ9HfkSc3M— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1549673438.0
Trump's glowing positivity toward North Korea comes despite the fact that the nation has taken no steps to honor a pledge made in the first Trump/Kim summit to denuclearize.
The result has been a stalemate: North Korea waits for sanctions relief, while the U.S. waits for some sign of denuclearization before providing that relief.
Trump left the first summit by declaring that "everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."
North Korea did not test any ballistic missiles in 2018, but intelligence shows that some North Korea nuclear testing sites are still functional, although not currently in use.
Additionally, U.S. intelligence heads don't believe complete denuclearization is a likely outcome for North Korea.
"While the president has started a promising dialogue with Chairman Kim, we still await concrete steps by North Korea to dismantle the nuclear weapons that threaten our people and our allies in the region," Vice President Mike Pence said in January.