Trump Would Talk With North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Over Nukes
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday he is willing to talk to North Korea’s leader to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with Pyongyang, but in what would be a major shift in U.S. policy said he was open to talking to Kim Jong Un.
“I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,” he told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview.
Asked whether he would try to talk some sense into the North Korean leader, Trump replied: “Absolutely.”
North Korea’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, 69, also said he would press China, Pyongyang’s only major diplomatic and economic supporter, to help find a solution.
“I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China,” he said in the interview in his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan. “China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call.”
Trump’s preparedness to talk directly with Kim contrasts with President Barack Obama’s policy of relying on senior U.S. officials to talk to senior North Korean officials.
A South Korean foreign ministry official said it and the United States were committed to denuclearization as the top priority of any dialog with North Korea. “North Korea must cease threats and provocations and show with action its sincere commitment to denuclearization,” the official said by telephone.
Obama has not engaged personally with Kim, but he has pushed for new diplomatic overtures to Iran and Cuba that produced a nuclear deal with Tehran and improved ties with Havana.
Trump tempered past praise of President Vladimir Putin, saying the nice comments the Russian leader has made about him in the past would only go so far.
“The fact that he said good things about me doesn’t mean that it’s going to help him in a negotiation. It won’t help him at all,” he said.
Opening a dialog with North Korea by itself is not a bad idea. Barack Obama said before he was first elected, that he too would be prepared to meet the North Korean leader of the time [Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il] face-to-face.
It’s true that Mr Obama’s promise was nine years ago and North Korea was not so far down the path to getting a nuclear arsenal. And Mr Trump has not been so cool in his language.
What is odd here is that Trump just insulted the leader of our closest ally, then turned around and says he’d love to talk to Kim Jong Un.