Trump Open to Talks with N.Korea's Kim Jong-un

  • VOA News

    May 19, 2016 08:00

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he is open to talking with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in order to try to halt the country's nuclear program.

    "I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him," Trump said in a Tuesday interview with Reuters.

    He also said he would use what he described as economic power the U.S. has over China to pressure the Chinese government into playing a role in finding a solution.

    North Korea is under multiple rounds of UN sanctions targeting its nuclear weapons program and repeated banned missile tests.

    China and the U.S. partnered with South Korea, Russia and Japan for negotiations with North Korea aimed at curbing its nuclear activity, but that effort broke down in 2008.

    Jake Sullivan, an adviser for Trump's likely opponent in the November election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, criticized Trump's statement. He highlighted earlier comments in which Trump said he was unlikely to have a good relationship with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 12, 2016. /AP

    "Donald Trump insults our closest ally, then turns around and says he'd love to talk to Kim Jong Un?" Sullivan said.

    Trump told Reuters Tuesday that Cameron has problems, but that he is sure the two will have a good relationship.

    Clinton had similar criticism of her 2007 opponent, now-President Barack Obama, when he said he would talk to leaders of nations like Cuba, North Korea and Iran without preconditions.  An Iowa newspaper quoted her saying that policy "was irresponsible and frankly naive."

    Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro in March and has spoken by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but there has been no direct contact between him and Kim Jong-un.

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