Trump opens door for third summit with Kim

US President: Relations with North Korean leader remain “very good”.

Ben Ariel,

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands
Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands
Reuters

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that his relations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un remain “very good” and opened the door for a third summit, Bloomberg reported.

Trump’s comments, made via Twitter, came hours after the North Korean leader said he is willing to meet with Trump, but conditioned such a meeting on the US offering acceptable terms for a deal by year end.

“I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate. A third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand,” wrote Trump.

He added that he looked forward to a day, “which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!”

In remarks carried earlier Saturday by the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim said he would not welcome a repeat of the Hanoi summit in February, when Trump walked out without securing a nuclear disarmament deal.

While Kim hailed his relationship with Trump, he also said the US has been making unilateral demands and should abandon that approach.

“In any case we will wait with patience for the U.S. courageous decision by the end of this year but it will clearly be tough to get such a good opportunity like the last time,” Kim said, according to the KCNA report.

Last week, Kim said his country needs to deliver a “serious blow” to those imposing sanctions by ensuring its economy is more self-reliant. Those comments marked the first time he stated North Korea’s position on the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi that collapsed in February.

“We must deal a serious blow to the hostile forces who are mistakenly determined to bring us down with sanctions by advancing the socialist construction to a high level of self-reliance that fits our circumstances and state, based on our own power, technology and resources,” he said.

Trump abruptly ended his February summit with Kim in the capital of Vietnam, explaining that, while "we had a productive time," no deal was signed.

He said at the time that Kim had asked for total removal of sanctions before denuclearization, something to which the US could not agree.

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that ... we had to walk away from it."

US-North Korean engagement has appeared to be in limbo since that summit. A senior official in Washington said last month that the US still believes the "fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea is possible by the end of Trump's first term.

Despite the breakdown of the summit, North Korean media later indicated that Kim and Trump had decided to continue productive talks to resolve problems discussed at their Hanoi summit.




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