Trump Praises 'Warm and Productive Statement From North Korea'

Susan Jones | May 25, 2018 | 9:21am EDT
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It appears that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has not entirely turned his back on a summit with the U.S. (File Photo/KCNA)

( - Far from having a "giggle fit," as Rep. Nancy Pelosi said about Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator has adopted President Trump's conciliatory tone in reacting to the U.S. cancelation of the June 12 summit.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday, ending with the line: "We would like to make known to the US side once again that we have the intent to sit with the US side to solve problems regardless of ways at any time."

In other words, the North Koreans say they are still willing to meet.

"We're talking to them now," President Trump told reporters on the White House grounds this morning. "We'll see what happens." The president also noted, with a smile, that "everybody plays games."


Earlier, reacting to the statement issued by North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan, President Trump called it "very good news."

"Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea," the president tweeted shortly after 8 a.m. Friday. "We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!"

The statement from North Korea was milder than the harsh criticism expressed two days ago.

The statement said Trump's "sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we can not but feel great regret for it."

"It is hard to guess the reasons. It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident.

"But for our part, we have exerted sincere efforts...We even inwardly hoped that what is called 'Trump formula' would help clear both sides of their worries..."

The Trump formula is an apparent reference to U.S. calls for complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The statement said North Korea remains "unchanged in our goal and will do everything we (can) for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the US side time and opportunity.

"The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse. The US should ponder over it.

"We would like to make known to the US side once again that we have the intent to sit with the US side to solve problems regardless of ways at any time."

'Dems have lost touch'

In another tweet on Friday, President Trump said Democrats "are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea. Just like they are coming to the defense of MS 13 thugs, saying that they are individuals & must be nurtured, or asking to end your big Tax Cuts & raise your taxes instead. Dems have lost touch!"

Trump may have been referring to remarks made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who told a news conference yesterday that President Trump cancelled the summit because he wasn't properly prepared. She said the cancellation made Kim look good:

"I think it's a good thing for Kim Jong Un. Here you have a thug, a person who killed his own family members, a person who has -- runs a police state, being legitimized by the president of the United States.

"They were on a par with each other. He got global recognition and regard. He's the big winner. And when he got this letter from the president, saying, 'OK, never mind,' he must be having a giggle fit, right there, now, in North Korea -- in Pyongyang."

Various Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also criticized the Trump administration on Thursday, including Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

"The art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal," Menendez told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "And while we applaud the robust diplomatic efforts to try to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, many of us were deeply concerned that the lack of deep preparation that is necessary before such a summit is even agreed to -- was not taking place. And now we see the consequences of that.

"And I'm not sure that constantly quoting the Libya model is the diplomatic way to try to get to the results that we seek in North Korea, because that didn't work out too well for Gadhafi," Menendez said.

Pompeo told the committee that in his face-to-face meetings with Kim Jong Un, Pompeo made it clear that the United States was asking for complete and verifiable denuclearization, in exchange for "the assurances that he, in return, asked for."

"And so I think we were having a real conversation where there was real understanding between the two of us. It's what caused me to recommend to the president that I thought the time would, in fact, permit us to have a real opportunity to do something historic. I am still optimistic that we will reach the point. I know the president is, as well."

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