Trump says he’s open to talks with N. Korean leader


Associated Press

THURMONT, Md.

President Donald Trump, shelving comparisons about the size of a “nuclear button,” said Saturday he is open to talking with the North Korean leader he’s called “Little Rocket Man” and hopes some progress results from upcoming talks between the Koreas.

Trump, who last year lambasted his chief diplomat for talking about negotiations with the nuclear-armed North, told reporters at Camp David that some dialogue or direct conversation with Kim Jong Un was not beyond the realm of possibility.

“Sure, I always believe in talking,” Trump said. “Absolutely I would do that, I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all.” But he was quick to add that any talks would come with conditions.

The first formal talks between North and South in more than two years are set to take place in a border town Tuesday as the rivals try to find ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics in the South and to improve their ties. Tensions are high because of the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

“Right now they’re talking Olympics. It’s a start, it’s a big start,” Trump said during a question-and-answer session after meetings with GOP leaders in Congress and Cabinet members on the administration’s 2018 legislative agenda.

Kim “knows I’m not messing around. I’m not messing around, not even a little bit, not even 1 percent. He understands that,” Trump said.

Assessing next week’s discussions, Trump said “if something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity. That would be a great thing for the world.”

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