Saturday 3 December 2016

Trump offer to meet Kim Jong-un is 'nonsense', says North Korea

Julian Ryall in Tokyo

Published 25/05/2016 | 02:30

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

North Korea has dismissed an offer by Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-un as propaganda and "nonsense".

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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee offered to meet the North Korean leader in a recent interview with Reuters in New York, saying he "would have no problem speaking to him".

Critics were quick to point out that the North Korean regime would be swift to portray any meeting as a victory for their hard-line stance on nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, as well as serving to legitimise Mr Kim's oppressive rule.

Mr Trump has previously expressed his admiration for Mr Kim's ruthless style of leadership, describing it as "incredible".

Speaking at a election rally in Iowa in January, Mr Trump said: "You're got to give him credit. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn't play games."

His comments came shortly after the North's fourth underground nuclear test.

Sanctions

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva appeared sceptical when asked on Monday whether Pyongyang would welcome a visit by Mr Trump, should he be elected.

"It is up to the decision of my supreme leader whether he decides to meet or not, but I think his idea of talk is nonsense," said So Se-pyong, Pyongyang's ambassador.

"It's for utilisation of the presidential election, that's all," he added. "A kind of propaganda or advertisement. This is useless, just a gesture for the presidential election. There is no meaning, no sincerity."

There have been suggestions that North Korea is attempting to rebuild bridges with some of the states that have supported strict United Nations sanctions, which were imposed in the aftermath of its nuclear test and a rocket launch in February.

That is being interpreted as a sign that Mr Kim's regime is feeling the effects of the embargo.

Irish Independent

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