After months of bluster and threats toward North Korea, President Donald Trump said his administration would talk with the government of Kim Jong Un about its nuclear-arms and long-range-missile programs.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House in Washington, D. C., on Saturday, March 3,2018, following a trip to Florida.
WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) –– After months of bluster and threats toward North Korea, President Donald Trump said his administration would talk with the government of Kim Jong Un about its nuclear-arms and long-range-missile programs.
President Barack Obama told Trump, before the new president was sworn in, that North Korea would be the most pressing global problem he would have to solve during his term. Since then, Trump at times has suggested that he would use the U. S. nuclear arsenal to take out North Korea’s. His sudden pivot toward talks is just the latest example of how his policy stances often change suddenly.
“They, by the way, called up a couple of days ago and said, ‘We would like to talk,’ ” Trump said of the Kim government Saturday night at the annual Gridiron Dinner. “And I said, ‘So would we, but you have to de-nuke. You have to de-nuke.’ ”
Trump then turned to one of his most-used verbal crutches when he wants to avoid promising a specific outcome.
“So, let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens,” Trump said, according to a pool report released by the White House. “But we will be meeting and we’ll see if anything positive happens. It’s been a long time,” Trump said. “It’s a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago.”
After some of his critics warned he might start a major Asian conflict — or even a nuclear one — Trump softened his brash tone on North Korea on Saturday, saying, “Maybe positive things are happening.
“I hope that’s true and I say that in all seriousness. I hope that’s true, he said.
Trump has long said that he would never talk with Kim’s government over its nuclear and missile programs. For example, he said in a Twitter post Aug. 30, “Talking is not the answer!”
But Saturday night, Trump went as far as to say “direct talks” with Kim are possible.
“I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won’t,” Trump said. “As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not mine.… He must be a fine man.
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