Washington: US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he is considering a potential third nuclear summit with North Korea’s leader.
“We will be discussing that and potential meetings, further meetings with North Korea and Kim Jong Un,” Trump said in the Oval Office at the start of talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
A third summit would follow on Trump’s historic breakthrough last year, when he met Kim in Singapore, and a follow-up this February in Hanoi that ended without progress in getting North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.
Both Trump and Moon are heavily invested in bringing North Korea out of the cold. But the unsuccessful summit in Vietnam was a setback for the two allies that has yet to be resolved.
At the White House, Trump insisted that a peaceful resolution of the North Korea standoff remains within reach, and that he continues to place considerable hope in his personal brand of diplomacy.
“I enjoy the summits, I enjoy being with the chairman,” he said.
Kim is “a person I’ve gotten to know very well, and respect and hopefully, and I really believe over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen. I think North Korea has a tremendous potential,” Trump said.
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The Vietnam summit ended without Trump being able to extract major concessions from Kim on the country’s nuclear arsenal or Kim getting the reduction he wanted in heavy economic sanctions brought to pressure him into cooperating.
Despite the sanctions, Trump said on Thursday that he supports unspecified South Korean moves to bring humanitarian relief.
“We are discussing certain humanitarian things right now. I’m OK with that, to be honest,” he said.
Although the broader sanctions should “remain in place,” he said he opposes any further tightening and noted that he had stopped planned new measures.
There was “the option of significantly increasing them…, but I didn’t want to do that,” he said.