Donald Trump Says Would "Absolutely" Talk To Kim Jong-Un On Phone

Donald Trump Says Would

Trump said he would be willing to speak directly with Kim, but doubled down on his tough talk against North Korea's communist leader.

The announcement came hours after the United States said it will delay annual military exercises with South Korea until after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.

Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un have exchanged insults ever since Mr Trump took office, with the US President repeatedly calling the North Korean leader "rocket man" for testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Kim claimed that North Korea planned to open talks with its neighbours in Seoul shortly to negotiate its team's participation at the Games.

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"If I weren't involved, they wouldn't be talking about the Olympics right now, they'd be doing no talking", he said.

Expressing skepticism that North Korea was honest in trying to improve relations, Pompeo added: "We'll just have to wait and see how the conversations go Tuesday".

In his New Year's address, Mr Kim Jong Un expressed his willingness to dispatch a North Korean delegation to South Korea's alpine town of Pyeongchang and hoped for the success of the sporting event.

But as things go on a different tangent from what the United States expected in the Korean peninsula, President Trump seems to be now trying to "steal" the credit for the talks.

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The prospect of direct talks, however, ultimately rests on how serious North Korea is about denuclearization efforts, Kim added, noting that the dialogue is only possible if North Korea accepts the allies' decision to postpone the joint military drill as a condition for talks.

But Trump's remarks stand in stark contrast to his October Tweet that "only one thing will work" with North Korea and preceding claim that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been "wasting his time" with diplomacy.

"Both the South and the North have considerable interest in opening South-North relations and have the intention to improve bilateral ties, so this time's high-level talks will focus on the matter of (North Korea's participation in the) Pyeongchang Olympics and also discuss other security issues", Yang said.

North and South Korea have agreed to discuss cooperation on the Olympics, as well as other issues, in rare talks at the border starting Tuesday. After initially responding cautiously to the news - suggesting that North-South talks might be "good news" - Trump on Thursday evening was back in a belligerent mood.

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Japan's defence minister said his country would remain vigilant, adding that the North went through "phases of apparent dialogue and provocation" and would continue its weapons programme.

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