Trump: Kim Jong A “very open” and “very honorable”

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has been "very open" and "very honorable," and wants a historic meeting and of great importance as soon as possible.

This is a sharp break from previous claims by US President Kim Jong Un as "Little Rocket Man."

The United States and North Korea have been negotiating a summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un to be held in May or June to negotiate an agreement on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Trump, who has given a decidedly optimistic tone about the situation in recent days, said on Tuesday that the United States and North Korea were having "good discussions."

"They told us directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible, and we think that's a great thing for the world," Trump said at the White House along with French President Emmanuel Macron. "Kim Jong Un, really has been very open and I think very honorable for everything we are seeing."

Trump warned that North Korea did not honor previous promises, but credited hard steps by his administration, including sanctions and organizing pressure from international allies, for forcing Pyongyang to hold talks. And again he suggested that he would "leave the table" if the negotiations were not productive or if North Korea was not operating in good faith.

"We will see where all this is going," said the president. "Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe not."

Trump's comments came days after a wave of signs from North Korea that the White House wished to promote as signs that its coercive campaign was working. On Saturday, North Korea announced it will close its nuclear test facility and suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, a move Trump called "great progress".

However, the North did not suggest that it will abandon its nuclear program. weapons (as Trump suggested in a tweet) or reduce their production of missiles and their related components.

When asked if the suspension of the tests was a positive signal, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday: "At this time, I think (there are) many reasons for the optimism that the negotiations will be fruitful and that we will see ".

This week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim, allies of the United States, will hold a summit in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas that could lay the groundwork for Trump's planned meeting with the North Korean dictator. The leaders of EE. UU And North Korea has never met during six decades of hostility since the Korean War.

The exact date and location of the possible summit have not been determined.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the goal of the United States was the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. When asked if the president was willing to accept anything less than that goal before lifting the sanctions or if he was willing to go gradually, he told reporters: "Certainly, no sanctions are lifted until North Korea takes concrete measures to denuclearize. "

year, USA UU He led the UN Security Council with the toughest international sanctions against North Korea in response to three long-range missile launches and its most powerful nuclear test explosion so far. The Trump administration supplemented these restrictions with United States unilateral sanctions against firms that had conducted illicit trade with the North.

This year, Kim has gone from confrontation to diplomacy and, according to South Korea and China, has expressed his commitment to denuclearization. There is still uncertainty about what he seeks in return.

Trump's praise for Kim Jong Un on Tuesday contrasts with his earlier bellicose rhetoric towards the North Korean leader. Beyond calling it "Little Rocket Man" from the rostrum of the United Nations last fall, Trump has threatened to launch "fire and fury" on North Korea and has caused Kim Jung Un on Twitter that his nuclear "button" was bigger than Pyongyang.


Writers from The Associated Press Zeke Miller and Ken Thomas contributed to the reports.

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