Trump says N Korea ‘must get rid of their nukes’

Washington DC: United States President Donald Trump on Monday urged North Korea to get rid of their nuclear weapons completely, in what he meant a “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.

Asked by a reporter about the meaning of denuclearisation during the joint press conference between Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the former said, “It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple. They get rid of their nukes, and nobody else would say it. It would be easy to make a simple deal and claim victory. I don’t want to do that. I want them to get rid of their nukes,” CNN reported.

Before the conference, Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “very open and very honourable.”

Asked to defend his comments, the US President said, “I started a process and when I did everyone thought I was doing it absolutely wrong. A lot is happening and I hope it’s going to be very positive for North Korea and South Korea and Japan.”

He added that the US is grateful to France for its “key partnership of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime,” CBC News reported.

Criticising the previous administrations on not handling the North Korean crisis, Trump asserted, “We will not repeat the past mistakes of past administrations.”

Ahead of a planned meeting with Trump, Kim on Saturday announced that the country would suspend its nuclear and missile tests and shut down a nuclear test site.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korean Central News Agency as saying.

“The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests,” the statement from North Korea added.

On the same day, Trump welcomed the move by North Korea, calling it a “big progress” for the country and the world.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the world – big progress! Look forward to our summit,” the US President wrote on Twitter.

On a related note, Kim is set to hold an inter-Korean summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in this Friday at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). This would the first time in 11 years that the summit would be held.

The topic of denuclearisation is likely to be discussed during the inter-Korean summit.

A meeting between Trump and Kim will possibly happen in May or early June this year.