US President Donald Trump open to talks with North Korea: White House

January 10, 2018 1:51 am
President (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (File photo)
US President Donald Trump has told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that Washington is open to talks with North Korea, while remaining determined to apply “maximum pressure” over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, according to the .
“The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday in a statement that confirmed a South Korea account of the phone call.  
Trump said there would be no military action against Pyongyang while talks were ongoing between South and North Korea, the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential office, said in a statement earlier on Wednesday after a phone call between Trump and Moon.
The two leaders also maintained that the inter-Korean talks would extend beyond the Winter Olympics.
On Tuesday, representatives from Seoul and Pyongyang held their first discussions in more than two years at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the divided countries.
During the call, the US president said American media reports that he was considering launching a strike against North Korea were ”completely wrong.”
During his New Year’s Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Pyongyang was mulling sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics Games set to be held at Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February.
“North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people and we wish the games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,” he said.
and South Korea have, meanwhile, agreed to delay joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics.
Such joint maneuvers have been a main cause of tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
The Trump administration has said it prefers a diplomatic solution to the crisis over North Korea’s program to develop nuclear missiles capable of reaching the .
However it says that all options are on the table, including military ones. Washington insists that any future talks should be aimed at North Korea giving up it nuclear weapons, something Pyongyang rejects.
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