President Donald Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday that he believes the process of the denculearization of North Korea will begin "virtually immediately." Asked if the topic of the differences between his administration and the previous administration came up, Trump said yes. One key difference, he made clear, was his willingness to use strong "rhetoric" to push back against North Korea's bellicose behavior.
In an interview that will air in full Tuesday night, Trump sat down with Hannity shortly after wrapping up his historic summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with the leader of North Korea. In a pre-released partial transcript of the interview obtained by The Daily Wire, Trump discussed some of the details of the meeting with the Fox News host.
"I just think that we are now we are going to start the process of denuclearization of North Korea, and I believe that he’s going back and will start it virtually immediately, and he’s already indicated that and you look at what he’s done," said Trump. "So we got our hostages back, but they’ve blown up one of their sites, one of their testing sites, their primary testing site, in fact some people say their only testing site, they are getting rid of a missile, which isn’t in the document, that was done afterwards, they’re getting rid of a missile testing site — they’re doing so much now. So it’s a process and its really moving rapidly."
Asked how his "rhetoric" impacted the talks, Trump said it was crucial that his administration pushed back against North Korea's contentious behavior rather than maintaining the "policy of silence" of previous administrations.
"Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn’t have been here," he said. "I really believe that. You know, we did sanctions and all the things you would do but I think without the rhetoric, you know, other administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but you know they had a policy of silence. If they said something very bad and very threatening and horrible just don’t answer. That’s not the answer. That’s not what you have to do. So I think the rhetoric, I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it, but we had no choice."
Asked if the differences between his administration and previous administrations came up during the meeting, Trump replied, "Yes, but I can’t say that because I don’t want to be the one saying it. At some point I'm sure he'll say it, but they never got it done. And they were never this close either. I mean it was never to a point where they were like we are."
Asked to describe his interaction with Kim, he said they appeared to get along "from the beginning."
"I felt very good at the beginning," he said. You know I talked about we have to de-nuke — his country has to be de-nuked and he understood that, he fully understood that, he didn’t fight it."
Trump stressed that the two leaders "got a lot more done today than I ever thought possible."
"And he’s going back, he’s now headed back, and I think he’s gone back to get this done," he said. "He wants to get it done. You know, you hear the whole thing about his father and other administrations or his grandfather. The fact is, and he brings that up, but they weren’t dealing with me they were dealing with different people."
Transcript via Fox News "Hannity."