Kim, Trump open to USA liaison office in NKorea

Mar 04, 2019, 00:42
Kim, Trump open to USA liaison office in NKorea

The North Korean leader, who has never directly interacted with foreign reporters, made the rare statement after Trump said that he's in "no rush" to denuclearize North Korea.

"North Korea 'wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety", Trump said at a press conference, alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Ahead of the talks, he hailed Kim as a "friend" and said North Korea could enjoy an "AWESOME" future if it gave up its nuclear weapons.

Only four other ears on the planet heard what Trump and Kim said to each other Wednesday during a brief, initial one-on-one chat that began their second nuclear summit.

The two leaders had seemed to find a point of agreement when Kim, who fielded questions from American journalists for the first time, was asked if the USA may open a liaison office in North Korea.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump walk at the Metropole hotel during the second North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam February 28, 2019.

The United Nations and the United States ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea when the reclusive state undertook a series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests in 2017, cutting off its main sources hard cash.

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Hours before he sat down again with Kim, Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, delivered explosive congressional testimony claiming the president is a "conman" who lied about his business interests with Russian Federation.

And when Kim was questioned about whether human rights were on the agenda, his counterpart stepped in, brushing off the issue by responding: "We're discussing everything".

"It occurs to us that there may not be a need to continue", she said, adding that North Korea had taken "many steps" to try to reach a deal.

'I have a feeling that good results will come, ' Kim added.

Kim is also likely to be reluctant to travel to South Korea without having something big to bring home, especially after getting nothing in Vietnam, where he arrived after traveling through China on his private train for more than two days.

Trump, who made little mention of denuclearization in his opening remarks, ramped down expectations further, saying "I can't speak necessarily for today but I can say that this ... a little bit longer term and over a period of time I know we're going to have a fantastic success with respect to Chairman Kim and North Korea".

Earlier Kim and Trump, seated across from each other at a conference table, appeared confident of progress.

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Both sides have expressed hope for progress on a U.S. demand for Pyongyang's complete denuclearisation.

Still, Sanders is describing the meetings between Trump and Kim as "very good and constructive".

What would Seoul do if Washington agrees to withdraw the U.S. Armed Forces from the peninsula for the Pyongyang's promise to abandon nuclear programs?

Pompeo told a news conference in Manila the USA side was "anxious to get back to the table so we can continue that conversation that will ultimately lead to peace and stability, better life for the North Korean people, and a lower threat, a denuclearized North Korea".

Trump, speaking next to Kim at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, said that "a lot of great ideas" are "being thrown about".

Trump again touted the possibility of impoverished North Korea becoming an "economic powerhouse" if it gave up its nuclear arsenal - an outcome analysts say is extremely unlikely.

Republicans blocked it. The White House has never provided information on what Putin and Trump talked about.

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