[Headlines from DRJ]
Trump: Kim says ready to restart talks when U.S.-South Korea joint drills end:
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Kim Jong Un told him he was ready to resume talks on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and would stop missile testing as soon as U.S.-South Korea military exercises end.
Trump and Kim have met twice since their first summit in Singapore last year, but little progress has been on Washington’s aim of getting the North Korean leader to give up his weapons.
“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!” Trump said on Twitter.
The sticking point delaying their next meeting seems to be the computer-simulated joint exercises between the US and South Korea:
North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Saturday, South Korea said, in a “show of force” against the exercises.
More missile launches are highly probable, as the North Korean military is conducting its own summer drills, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. The exercises are largely computer-simulated as an alternative to previous large-scale annual drills that were halted to expedite denuclearization talks.
In his tweet, Trump said Kim sent him a letter saying “very nicely” that he wanted to meet once the “ridiculous and expensive” U.S.-South Korea exercises were over. Trump added: “It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end.”
Trump had previously ended the full-scale joint exercises to please Kim but without gaining any concessions. However, that didn’t dampen Trump’s praise for Kim’s “positive letter:”
Trump previously praised the contents of Kim’s letter in remarks to reporters on Friday, calling it a “beautiful” gesture by the North Korean leader.
“I think we’ll have another meeting,” Trump said. “He really wrote a beautiful, three-page — I mean, right from top to bottom — a really beautiful letter. And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was a very positive letter.”
This reminds me of those old movies where the couple argue and then make up (but only after the guy gives the girl expensive make-up gifts), only to repeat again and again.