WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 — U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is willing to talk with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and supports the talks between the two Koreas next week.
“I always believe in talking,” Trump told reporters at the David Camp resort when asked whether he was willing to engage in phone talks with Kim right now. “Absolutely I would do that. No problem with that at all.”
However, Trump added that any talks will come with prerequisites, saying, “We have a very firm stance.” Trump’s remarks have shelved his
often-bellicose rhetoric on Kim. Since he took office last January, the Trump administration has resorted to hawkish and threatening rhetoric
against the DPRK, and sent warships and conducted joint military drills with South Korea.Such moves, plus the DPRK’s several missile or nuclear
tests, have sent the situation on the Korean Peninsula to a simmering extent.
Among their numerous wars of words, Trump and Kim recently staged another one about their nuclear arsenals. In a New Year’s address, Kim said he has a “nuclear button” on his office desk and warned that “the whole territory of the United States is within the range of our nuclear strike.” Trump responded: “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more
powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Speaking of the coming talks between Pyongyang and Seoul, Trump said he hoped “it works out” and would
“absolutely” love to see Pyongyang and Seoul take their conversation “beyond the Olympics.” “It’s a start,” he said, adding that “if
something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.”
Trump also noted that “at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved.” The DPRK on Friday agreed to hold senior-level and inter-governmental talks with South Korea on Tuesday. The hotline of direct dialogue between the two nations was reopened earlier this week for the first time in almost two years. Signs of a thaw were seen on the Korean Peninsula as Kim said in his New Year’s address that his country was willing to dispatch a delegation to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics set to kick off in February. South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed earlier this week with Trump that the two allies would not conduct the annual springtime war games during the Winter Olympics period. – XINHUA