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Trump says he’s willing to meet North Korean leader

Posted May. 03, 2017 07:10,   

Updated May. 03, 2017 07:26

U.S. President Donald Trump has floated possible talks with North Korea along with his remarks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and the Korean Peninsula, marking the 100th day of his inauguration. Unless it is an off-the-cuff remark, he is intended to shake the North Korean regime through engagement, the opposite way of what he has done so far, based on his administration’s new North Korea strategy “maximum pressure and engagement.” It remains to be seen what action Kim Jong Un who has refrained from extreme provocations including the sixth nuclear test would take going forward.

“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” President Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday (local time). “If it’s under the right circumstances. But I would do that.” It is the first time that he mentioned possible talks with North Korea since last year when he said during the presidential campaign, “I will invite him over a hamburger.”

The White House said, however, “Conditions would have to be met with North Korea.” “The United States would need to see North Korea's provocative behavior ratcheted down immediately,” White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said in a briefing after the report on Trump’s interview. “There’s a lot of conditions that I think would have to happen with respect to its behavior and to show signs of good faith. Clearly, conditions are not there right now.”

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com