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Trump Open to Meet Kim Jong-Un to Discuss Korea’s Nukes Program

This comes as a contrast to Obama’s policy of relying on senior US officials for initiating talks with North Korea.

Updated
World
3 min read
Donald Trump. (Photo: AP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program, proposing a major shift in US policy toward the isolated nation.

In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, Trump also called for a renegotiation of the Paris climate accord, said he disapproved of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine and said he would seek to dismantle most of the US’s Dodd-Frank financial regulations if he is elected president.

The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with North Korea, but said he was open to talking to its leader.

I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him.

Asked whether he would try to talk some sense into the North Korean leader, Trump replied, “Absolutely.”

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as he gives field guidance during a visit to a food factory. (Photo: Reuters)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as he gives field guidance during a visit to a food factory. (Photo: Reuters)
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North Korea’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s remarks.

Trump, 69, also said he would press China, Pyongyang’s only major diplomatic and economic supporter, to help find a solution.

I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China. China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call.
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Trump’s preparedness to talk directly with Kim contrasts with President Barack Obama’s policy of relying on senior US officials to talk to senior North Korean officials.

A South Korean foreign ministry official declined to respond directly to Trump’s comments but said South Korea and the United States were committed to denuclearization as the top priority of any dialogue with North Korea.

“North Korea must cease threats and provocations and show with action its sincere commitment to denuclearization,” the official said by telephone.

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Obama has not engaged personally with Kim, but he has pushed for new diplomatic overtures to Iran and Cuba that produced a nuclear deal with Tehran and improved ties with Havana.

On Russia, Trump tempered past praise of Putin, saying the nice comments the Russian leader has made about him in the past would only go so far.

The fact that he said good things about me doesn’t mean that it’s going to help him in a negotiation. It won’t help him at all.
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An adviser to Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, criticised Trump’s foreign policy comments, noting they came soon after Trump said he was unlikely to have a good relationship with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Let me get this straight. Donald Trump insults the leader of our closest ally, then turns around and says he’d love to talk to Kim Jong-un?” Clinton’s senior foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement.

Trump “seems to have a bizarre fascination with foreign strongmen like Putin and Kim. But his approach to foreign policy makes no sense for the rest of us,” he said.

In the Reuters interview, Trump said he thought Cameron’s criticism of him was inappropriate but said, “I’m sure I’ll have a good relationship with him.”

(With agency inputs)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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