The United States did not pay any money to the North Koreans for the release of its citizens held as prisoners, President Donald Trump said as he slammed the previous Obama administration for paying $1.8 billion in cash after the Iranian nuclear deal.
The president was addressing his supporters at a rally in Elkhart, Indiana, yesterday.
"North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did a great service to himself and to his country by doing this. But those hostages came out with respect, we didn't pay for them," he said.
"We are going to set the table. We are going to make a great deal, for the world, for North Korea, for South Korea, for Japan, for China," he added.
The Obama administration had paid $1.8 billion for hostages, Trump claimed in an apparent reference to a January 2016 deal between the US and Iran in which the United States agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle a case related to the sale of military equipment before the Iranian revolution. Simultaneously, Iran had released five American prisoners. The then Obama White House strongly refuted reports that it was a ransom.
Trump said his meeting with Kim Jong-un would be a great success.
"I think it's going to be a very big success. But my attitude is: And if it isn't, it isn't," he told his supporters.
"You have to have that because you don't know. We're not going to walk into an Iran deal," Trump added.
The Iran deal was one of the most embarrassing agreements the United States had ever entered into, he said, adding that the US could not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.
"We have to be able to go into their military bases to see whether or not they're cheating Now, of course, we're all sure they're not cheating, but just in case," he said.
"I'll be meeting with Kim Jong-un to pursue a future of peace and security for the world. For the whole world," the president said.
"So the relationship is good, and hopefully, for all of us, for the world, hopefully so,mething very good is going to happen. And they understand it's very important for them. It's important for everybody," he added.