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World Trump tells Gridiron: North Korea 'called up' and 'would like to talk'

09:25  04 march  2018
09:25  04 march  2018 Source:   cnn.com

North Korea willing to talk to US, South Korea says

  North Korea willing to talk to US, South Korea says North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States, South Korean President Moon Jae-In said in a statement Sunday. The South Korean leader said he'd met with the North Korean delegation that's in Pyeongchang for the closing ceremony of the Winter Games, and told them that North Korea-US talks should happen "as soon as possible."Moon said the North Koreans indicated they were willing to talk with the US, and agreed that "the inter-Korean relationship and North Korea-US relationship should develop together."Developing story - more to comeCNN's Sophie Jeong contributed to this report.

President Trump told the Gridiron Club on Saturday that he took a hard line with the North Trump was quoted as saying that North Korean officials had “ called up ” to initiate direct talks , but they met “We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk , and

"Now we are talking and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago. They said that 'we would like to talk .' And I said 'So would we, but you have to denuke, you have to denuke,'" Trump told attendees at the annual Gridiron Club dinner.

Kim Jong-un, Donald J. Trump are posing for a picture © Photo Illustration/CNN/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said in his speech to the mostly joke-filled Gridiron Club Dinner on Saturday night that North Korea had recently reached out about possible talks.

"They called up a couple of days ago and said, 'We would like to talk,'" Trump said. "And I said, 'So would we, but you have to de-nuke. You have to de-nuke.' So let's see what happens. Let's see what happens."

The US has said it would be willing to meet with North Korea but has always insisted that Pyongyang eventually abandon its nuclear weapons program as part of any talks.

Trump later said "maybe positive things are happening. I hope that's true. ... I say that in all seriousness. I hope that's true. And we're soon going to know. We will be meeting, and we will see if anything positive happens. It's been a long time. It's a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago, not now."

White House will see if North Korea is serious about talks

  White House will see if North Korea is serious about talks The White House says it will see whether North Korea's interest in opening talks with the U.S. marks the first step toward removing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump remains committed to achieving the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" of the peninsula. Sanders says the U.S., South Korea and others agree denuclearization must be the result of any dialogue with North Korea.

"Now we are talking and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago. They said that 'we would like to talk .' And I said 'So would we, but you have to denuke, you have to denuke,'" Trump told attendees at the annual Gridiron Club dinner.

“Now we are talking and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago. They said that‘we would like to talk .’ And I said‘So would we, but you have to denuke, you have to denuke,’” Trump told attendees at the annual Gridiron Club dinner.

White House officials did not respond to a request for clarification. Trump made the remarks while delivering a series of jokes poking fun at himself, his administration and others at the annual dinner.

Last month, it was revealed Vice President Mike Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un's sister, during their visits to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. But the North Koreans pulled out of the planned session before it could happen. Pence's office said it believed the abrupt cancellation was a sign that US attempts to exert pressure on the regime were working.

"North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the vice president softening his message, which could have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics," said Nick Ayers, Pence's chief of staff.

Trump had signed off on the decision to meet, with the caveat that the United States wouldn't back off its stated demand that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons.

The latest US intelligence assessment about North Korea's nuclear ballistic missile program judges that Kim's regime has continued to make progress during the last few months on improving guidance of their missiles, an administration official with knowledge of the information told CNN's Barbara Starr. The official did point out that the regime is still struggling with the technical challenge of ensuring a warhead can re-enter the earth's atmosphere.

CNN's Aaron Pellish and Kevin Liptak contributed to this story.

Trump: Without me 'Olympics would have been a total failure' .
President Trump took credit for the success of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. During a campaign rally for state Rep. Rick Saccone (R), who is running for Congress, Trump also took credit for a lessened threat of nuclear attack surrounding the games."I'll tell you, we did a great job on the Olympics," Trump said. "President Moon of South Korea said without Donald Trump the Olymp ics would have been a total failure.""It's a little hard to sell tickets when you think you are going to be nuked," he added.

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