President Donald Trump, appearing to contradict his previous statements, declared Friday that he is open to negotiations with North Korea.
“If something can happen where we negotiate, I’m always open to that,” the president explained to reporters, adding that the U.S. is ready, more so than ever before, if North Korea forces that end. “We are totally prepared for numerous things” when it comes to North Korea, he said.
Trump on North Korea: “If something can happen where we negotiate, I’m always open to that.” pic.twitter.com/CabC1mJahr
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 13, 2017
Trump’s statements are surprising given his recent criticisms of talks with North Korea. While he stated early in his administration that he would be “honored” to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the president has taken a tougher stance since the rogue regime tested an intercontinental ballistic missile and a staged thermonuclear bomb.
“Talking is not the answer!” Trump tweeted in August.
“Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail,” he posted at the start of October.
After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the U.S. has communications channels with North Korea and is probing for opportunities for talks on the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Trump suggested that Tillerson was wasting his time.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” the president tweeted, adding, “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Trump again expressed his dissatisfaction with dialogue last week, stressing that North Korea only understands one thing.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump wrote on his preferred social media platform. “Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators.”
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