US President Donald Trump said he is willing to speak directly with Kim Jong-UN, voicing hope that rare talks between North and South Korea could help deescalate the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear drive.
Trump’s remarks were a further pivot from his often-bellicose rhetoric on North Korea and Kim, with whom he has engaged in a war of words that raised fears of nuclear war as Pyongyang carried out missile and nuclear tests.
North and South Korea have agreed to hold their first official talks in more than two years, and Trump expressed hopes that they would go beyond discussions of Pyongyang’s participation in the upcoming winter Olympics in the south.
Kim said in a new year speech that his country wished success for the Olympics, to be held from February 9-25, and would consider sending a delegation — remarks that set off a tentative rapprochement after weeks of high tensions.
The North and South agreed to the talks and Seoul has proposed sending a five-member delegation led by a government minister to the talks in the truce village of Panmunjom on Tuesday.