December 2018
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Donald Trump says he’s open to direct talks with Kim Jong Un

By nknews

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would be open to direct talks with Kim Jong Un, in order to influence the North Korean leader to halt his countries’ nuclear weapons program.

“I would speak to (Kim Jong Un), I would have no problem speaking to him,” Trump told Reuters in New York, implying he would use dialogue to “talk some sense” into the North Korean leader.

Though Trump didn’t share details about any plan for negotiations, he further reiterated previous claims that U.S. pressure on China could help Washington find a solution with North Korea.

But Trump’s proposal would put his North Korea policy at direct odds with current and former U.S. Presidents Obama and Bush, neither of whom expressed any willingness to negotiate directly with Kim Jong Un or the late Kim Jong Il.

And direct talks would also be at odds with South Korea’s current policy, which since North Korea’s fourth nuclear test has maintained that Pyongyang show “sincere will” towards towards denuclearization before any further dialogue is possible.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (MoU) on Wednesday told NK News it had no comment about Trump’s proposals, with no questions on the subject emerging in a regular MoU press briefing taking place hours after the story broke.

But while the MoU did not respond, one local observer suggested the proposal – in combination with Trump’s remarks that South Korea foot 100% of the costs of keeping U.S. troops – could lead to Seoul becoming “out of joint with what potentially the next American president says he will do.”

“Trump is a disruptive force in a serious way right now,” said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei university in Seoul. “He has talked quite a bit about South Korean issues, and not just repeating the talking points.

“Now South Koreans are taking (Trump’s) presence seriously and considering the implications of his presidency,” Delury continued, adding that any North Korean response to the direct talks proposal would be important to look out for.

However, Troy University …read more