SEOUL: US President Donald Trump on Saturday backed a possible third summit with North Korea, after Kim Jong Un said he would be willing to meet his American counterpart if Washington comes to the table with the “right attitude”.
Kim said he would wait until the end of the year “for the US to make a courageous decision” to change its approach and smooth the path to another meeting, state media reported, after his most recent summit with Trump in Vietnam broke down without agreement. Trump welcomed further talks between the pair, pointing to their “excellent relationship”.
“I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand,” he said on Twitter.
Washington has blamed the February deadlock on the North’s demands for sanctions relief in return for limited nuclear disarmament, but Pyongyang said it had wanted only some of the measures eased.
And Trump has hinted that the punitive measures could eventually come to an end.
“North Korea has tremendous potential for extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim,” the American president said.
“I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!” In a speech to Pyongyang’s rubber-stamp parliament on Friday, Kim said the Hanoi meeting had made him question whether Washington is “genuinely interested” in improving its relations with Pyongyang.
“We are willing to give another try if the US offers to have a third summit with the right attitude and mutually acceptable terms,” he said, according to a report by North Korean state media outlet KCNA.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2019