- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 10, 2019

President Trump said Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants to resume denuclearization talks as soon as joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises stop, and that he offered a “small apology” for Pyongyang’s recent missile tests.

The president said that Mr. Kim, in a handwritten letter delivered to the White House on Thursday, “stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over.”

“It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end.”

The president said he looks forward “to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!”

“A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!” he said.

Pyongyang has launched a series of short-range missiles in recent weeks, including on Friday. The president has said the tests don’t violate their agreement that Pyongyang stop testing nuclear devices and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim held an impromptu meeting at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in June. Their last summit, in Vietnam in February, ended without an agreement to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

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