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Donald Trump

Donald Trump tweets that he and Kim Jong-un are ‘looking forward’ to meeting

US president says meeting between Xi Jinping and North Korean leader went ‘very well’, but adds ‘maximum sanctions and pressure’ will continue

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 9:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 9:16pm

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “look forward” to meeting each other, but the US will continue to maintain “maximum sanctions and pressure” against Pyongyang “at all cost”.

He also said Kim’s surprise meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing went “very well”, according to Xi.

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The US president appeared optimistic about his own proposed talks with the leader of the reclusive state in May, in two tweets posted within 12 minutes of each other.

Trump said Kim “looks forward” to meeting him, according to a message he received from Xi. But he added that “unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost” against North Korea in the meantime.

In the first tweet, Trump said there was a “good chance” the North Korean leader “will do what is right” and move towards denuclearisation. He also added that he was looking forward to meeting Kim.

Trump took to Twitter hours after China’s official news agency Xinhua confirmed Kim’s one-night stay in Beijing this week. It was the first time Kim had left North Korea since he took power in 2011, and the first time Xi had met him in person since Xi took office in 2012.

Kim told Xi he was willing to work with Washington and Seoul to denuclearise, according to Xinhua.

In previous tweets, Trump has referred to Kim as “little rocket man” and warned that the hermit kingdom would face “fire and fury” if Kim escalated his nuclear threats.

But in a surprise move, Trump agreed to meet Kim in person after a South Korean delegation relayed Kim’s suggestion for talks to the White House in early March. The exact time and location of that meeting has yet to be announced.

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The White House said in a statement on Wednesday morning that China had briefed Trump on Kim’s visit to Beijing, and the communication included a personal message from Xi to Trump.

“The United States remains in close contact with our allies South Korea and Japan. We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea,” the statement said.