- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

President Trump spoke Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in about North Korea’s missile test last weekend, with South Korea saying Mr. Trump supports food aid for Pyongyang.

South Korea said after the 35-minute phone call that Mr. Trump supports the country’s plan to provide humanitarian food aid to North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.

The White House’s statement did not mention food aid, saying only that “the two leaders discussed recent developments regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and how to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK.”

Mr. Trump has previously expressed an openness to providing the North with some sort of humanitarian aid.

The forces of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fired a short-range test missile off the country’s east coast on Saturday. The launch came shortly after Mr. Kim had his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is seeking to exert more influence on any talks to denuclearize North Korea.

Mr. Trump also spoke by phone this week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea’s actions.

South Korea’s presidential office, known as the Blue House, said the leaders discussed ways to keep Pyongyang on track for dialogue despite its missile firing.

Mr. Moon and Mr. Trump discussed a joint report by the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization that 10 million North Koreans, about 40 percent of the population, are in urgent need of food, Yonhap reported.

“President Trump assessed that South Korea’s provision of food to North Korea in a humanitarian move will be very timely and a positive step and supports it,” said Blue House spokesperson Ko Min-jung.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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