Trump touts relationship with Kim ahead of possible nuke talks

September 20, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday as the two countries move to resume denuclearization talks.

Trump said at a meeting with the Australian prime minister at the White House that the negotiations may or may not succeed, but that his relationship with Kim is a “positive.”

“I think the best thing that happened to this country is the fact that, at least for three years in fact, that I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” he told reporters at the start of the meeting. “His country has tremendous potential. He knows that.”

Trump and Kim have had three meetings since June 2018 to negotiate the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for U.S. economic and political concessions.

Talks have stalled since their second summit in February ended without a deal, but they are expected to resume as early as this month.

“Our country has been playing around for 50 years and getting nothing,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. It might work out. It might not work out. I’m not saying it will.”

In the meantime, Trump said, North Korea has stopped testing nuclear weapons and the short-range missiles it has tested since May have been “pretty standard fare.”

The U.S. president has repeatedly played down the short-range ballistic missile tests in an apparent bid to keep diplomacy alive.

North Korea has demanded that the U.S. come up with a “new calculation method” for the upcoming negotiations after the February summit broke down due to differences over the scope of North Korea’s denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

Trump said Wednesday that “maybe a new method would be very good,” but did not elaborate.