NATIONAL

Trump says 'open' to meeting with NK leader

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 6, 2017 - 09:34
  • Updated : Nov 6, 2017 - 09:34

WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump said he would "certainly be open" to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as he embarked on his first trip to Asia last week.

In an interview aired Sunday, Trump was asked on US news program "Full Measure" whether he would sit down with a dictator.

"I would sit with anybody I feel," the president said. "I don't think it's strength or weakness. I think sitting down with people is not a bad thing. So I would certainly be open to doing that."

US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AP-Yonhap)

He made no commitment, though, saying, "But we'll see where it goes. I think we're far too early."

Trump is currently in Japan on the first leg of his five-nation Asia tour. He will later visit South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, where he will meet with the leaders to coordinate policy on North Korea and trade.

His visit comes at a time of heightened tension over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which critics have partly blamed on Trump's war of words with Kim.

The American president has mockingly called the North Korean leader "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy" the nation if necessary. Kim, for his part, has called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" and threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean.

When asked whether he thinks North Korea is likely to strike the US with a nuclear weapon, Trump said he doesn't.

"I hope that something's going to be worked out. If it's not, it's not. But I really do hope that something is going to be worked out," he said, noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been "working very hard" to help resolve the issue.

Trump also promised that "there's not going to be something bad happening" in terms of US or North Korean actions during his trip.

Without elaborating, he added, "I can tell you that we are a very, very strong nation, getting stronger all the time -- not only our economy but our military." (Yonhap)