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Trump says he is open to another summit with N.K. leader: reports

15:46 July 08, 2020

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he is open to holding another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite Pyongyang's repeated claims that it has no intention to hold talks with the U.S., according to news reports.

"I understand they want to meet and we would certainly do that," Trump said in an interview with Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday (Washington time), according to Voice of America and other news reports.

"I would do it if I thought it was going to be helpful," Trump was quoted as saying.

Asked if he thinks such a meeting would be helpful, Trump said, "Probably. I have a very good relationship with him, (so it) probably would be."

Trump and Kim have met three times since their first summit in June 2018 where they agreed to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees.

Their subsequent meetings, however, failed to produce further progress as they remained far apart over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands as they meet at the Freedom House on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas, on June 30, 2019. (Yonhap)

Trump mentioned the possibility of another summit with Kim after North Korea recently strongly rejected any chance of dialogue with the U.S.

On Saturday, North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui issued a statement, saying that she feels no need to sit down with the U.S., accusing Washington of using dialogue between the two countries as "a tool for grappling its political crisis."

Kwon Jong-gun, the North Korean foreign ministry's director-general handling U.S. affairs, reiterated Choe's position on Tuesday, saying, "Explicitly speaking once again, we have no intention to sit face to face with U.S."

The rejection came just hours before U.S. top nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul to discuss ways to kick-start stalled denuclearization talks with the North.

Following meetings with South Korean officials on Wednesday, Biegun told reporters said that Washington is ready to resume negotiations with the North at any time.

During the interview, the VOA said that Trump repeatedly emphasized his close relations with the North Korean leader and played up his achievement in diplomacy that he claims to have helped ease tensions around the Korean Peninsula.

"I get along, we talk, and let's see what happens. But we've done a great job and haven't been given the credit we deserve," Trump said.

With regard to speculation on the North's continued nuclear weapons activity, Trump noted that Pyongyang has no "delivery" system at this point, apparently referring to an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. with a nuclear warhead.

"Well, we'll have to see. There's no delivery ... Not yet. And at some point there might be. And we'll have to have very serious discussions and thought about that, because there could be some time when something's going to happen," he said.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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