President Donald Trump said Tuesday that North and South Korea have his blessing to end the Korean War once and for all, signaling that the Trump administration may be on board with a Korean peace settlement.
“South Korea has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war, and they have my blessing on that,” Trump revealed Tuesday in Mar-a-Lago, where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting to discuss issues pertaining to North Korea and trade.
The president’s comments follow South Korean media reports that permanent peace and the end of the Korean War are on the agenda for the upcoming meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump: “South Korea is meeting and has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war and they have my blessing on that” https://t.co/a6FWP8hBLt
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 17, 2018
Trump again took credit for unprecedented levels of engagement between North and South Korea, including North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“Without us, and without me in particular, they wouldn’t be discussing anything,” he explained, adding, “The Olympics would have been a failure. Instead, it was a great success. They would have had a real problem.”
Returning to the potential end of the Korean War, a topic which has been brought up at past inter-Korean summits that ultimately failed to produce the desired results, Trump again stressed that the North and South have his blessing.
“They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war,” Trump told reporters, “People don’t realize the Korean War has not ended. It is going on right now. They are discussing an end to the war.”
He repeated two more times that the North and South are free to discuss the end of the war, which was resolved with an armistice agreement rather than an official peace treaty. The North has long desired a formal peace treaty.
The president further remarked that his meeting with Kim is expected to be held in May or June, but he made it clear that if the meeting with the South goes poorly, he may cancel the meeting with the North Korean leader and ratchet up the pressure on the rogue regime.
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