U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants to resume denuclearisation talks after U.S.-South Korean war games end.
Mr. Trump tweeted that in a letter to him, Mr. Kim apologised for a recent spate of missile tests, the latest of which came at daybreak on Saturday Korean time, and said they were to protest these joint military drills.
Mr. Trump said he looks “forward to seeing Kim Jong-un in the not too distant future!” “In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong-un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over,” Mr. Trump wrote.
The exercises began on Monday and are due to last another week. North Korea has said the recent short-range missile tests are designed to protest the war games.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump again seemed to side with Mr. Kim by criticising the exercises. “It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump has appeared determined to secure a denuclearisation agreement with North Korea ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential elections, despite faltering talks since he first met Mr. Kim in a historic ice-breaking summit in Singapore in June 2018.
On Friday, he described the message he got from Mr. Kim as “a very beautiful letter.” “I’ll say it again. There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles.”
Washington and Seoul pledged in March to scale down their joint drills in an effort to foster denuclearisation talks with Pyongyang.