Days following North and South Korea resuming communication over a crisis hotline, President Trump has asserted a willingness to speak with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un by phone.
Delivering remarks at Camp David where he met with congressional GOP leaders for a weekend of meetings, Trump reiterated his “firm stance” on North Korea, but added his willingness to talk to Kim.
“He knows I’m not messing around. I’m not messing around, not even a little bit, not even one percent. He understands that. At the same time if we can come up with a very peaceful and a very good solution . . . If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity,” Trump said in remarks to reporters.
Trump stressed the talks between the foes was only a “start,” but could lead to a reopening of conversation with the U.S. if certain conditions were met.
Both Trump and Kim have traded barbs in public over the last several months, including last week when the U.S. president taunted North Korea for having a larger nuclear arsenal at his disposal than Pyongyang.
U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump’s latest controversial remark was meant to keep Kim Jong-un from getting “so arrogant that he doesn’t realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war.”
Haley also stated that for direct negotiations with the U.S. to occur, North Korea would have to cease its rocket launches for a “significant amount of time.”
“There is no turnaround,” Haley said. “What (Trump) has basically said is ‘yes, there could be a time where we talk to North Korea,’ but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place. They have to stop testing. They have to be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons.”
North and South Korea are scheduled to revive direct talks next week, conversation which are intended to resolve questions over the Winter Olympic Games hosted in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February.
[The Telegraph] [DML News] [Reuters] [AP] [Photo courtesy AP]