South Korean President Says Trump Deserves Credit For Making Talks With North Korea Possible

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

President Donald Trump’s intense pressure campaign appears to have done the trick, the South Korean president suggested Tuesday.

Trump “made a huge contribution to make inter-Korean talks happen,” President Moon Jae-in explained to reporters Tuesday night, adding, “I’d like to express my gratitude.” He reportedly said that talks “could be the effect of the sanctions and pressure led by the U.S.”

North and South Korea met for the first time in two years at the Peace House in the Joint Security Area at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) Tuesday. Inter-Korean talks followed an overture by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un during his New Year’s address last Monday, when he said that the North is “open to dialogue” with the South Koreans.

The two sides discussed North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea and ways to improve inter-Korean relations.

President Donald Trump, who has called talks a “good thing,” has claimed several times that his strong stance and tough rhetoric helped make negotiations possible.

“Look, right now, they’re talking Olympics. It’s a start, it’s big start. If I weren’t involved they wouldn’t be talking at all right now,” Trump told reporters recently.

While the the president and Moon appear optimistic about talks, other observers are skeptical and very suspicious of Kim’s intentions.

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