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Trump-Moon Meeting Is Positive on North Korea, as Trump Thanks Russia, China for Their Role

April 12, 2019 (EIRNS)—At a joint press briefing yesterday before the White House meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump, both leaders expressed strongly positive views of their collaboration on resolving the situation with North Korea. In addition, it was notable that at the end of Moon’s statement of support for working with the United States, Trump, after thanking Moon, interjected,

“I have to go just one step further and I want to thank China, who’s really helped us a lot at the border. I also want to thank Russia because they have helped us, and they’ve helped us quite a bit more than people think, at the border. So both China and Russia have really been quite good. That doesn’t mean they can’t get better, but they’ve been quite good at the border. And I just want to thank both of those countries. As we’ve said, a lot of progress has been made. We will have further dialogue and I look forward to it.”

Trump said in his opening remarks that “Kim Jong Un has been really somebody that I’ve gotten to know very well and respect and, hopefully—and I really believe that, over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen.” He responded to a question later, in part:

“North Korea has potential as great as anything I’ve ever seen in terms of potential. They have an unbelievable location—surrounded by sea on two sides, and on the other side, Russia, China, and over here, South Korea. You just can’t do better than that. And they have magnificent land. It has tremendous potential.”

Regarding the sanctions on North Korea, Trump left them as is, replying, “No, we want sanctions to remain in place. And frankly, I had the option of significantly increasing them. I didn’t want to do that because of my relationship with Kim Jong Un. I did not want to do that....”

When a reporter attempted to ask about whether Trump would “accept a smaller deal to ‘keep the process going,’ as President Moon called it,” attempting to differentiate this from an all-or-nothing big deal, Trump closed out the media exchange, saying,

“I’d have to see what the deal is. There are various smaller deals that maybe could happen. Things could happen. You can work out, step by step pieces. But, at this moment, we’re talking about the big deal. The big deal is we have to get rid of the nuclear weapons.”

Trump had earlier told a reporter that he and Moon would discuss the possibility of approving food shipments and humanitarian aid to North Korea.

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