Trump

  

President Donald Trump has said that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un wants to meet again for negotiations, after Kim reportedly apologized for missile tests and complained about US military exercises.

Spilling the beans on the contents of the “beautiful” letter he received from Kim on Friday, Trump said that he “would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over,” referring to an annual military drill set to kick off next week on the Korean peninsula.

“It was a long letter,” Trump continued, “much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!”

Kim’s missive came after Pyongyang carried out a number of missile tests over the last two weeks, which, it says, were conducted “to send an adequate warning” to the US and South Korea.

Trump and Kim’s last summit, in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February, ended in failure. In the months since, Trump has found himself conducting damage control for Kim, playing down the significance of North Korea’s missile tests and stressing that Pyongyang has not carried out any nuclear, ballistic or long-range missile launches. Kim, he tweeted last week, “does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump.”

North Korea has repeatedly cited the military exercises across its border as a sticking point on the path to peace, calling them a rehearsal for invasion. Though this month’s exercises are a slimmed down version of the usual ‘Ulchi Freedom Guardian’ summer exercises, Trump still took Kim’s side on the drills, calling them “tremendously expensive” and “provocative.”

“I never liked it. I don’t like paying for it … We should be reimbursed for it,” he told reporters on Friday.