President Donald Trump said Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apologized to him for a flurry of recent missile tests and requested another meeting amid stalled nuclear negotiations.
Trump said Kim had sent him a personal letter in which he suggested the two leaders meet and start negotiations as soon as joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which kicked off earlier this week, were over.
“It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” Trump said in a tweet early Saturday morning.
He added that Kim offered him “a small apology” for the recent tests that have rattled U.S. allies in the region and that Kim assured him they would stop when exercises end.
Trump said he was looking forward to seeing Kim in “the not too distant future.”
….also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019
The president’s comments came just hours after North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the East Sea off its eastern coast.
It was the fourth such launch since late July. Short-range projectiles could feasibly reach U.S. military bases in Seoul.
Trump told reporters Friday that he had received “a great letter” from Kim.
The president also mentioned that Kim had expressed dismay with “war games” conducted by South Korea and its allies, which include the United States.
“And, as you know, I’ve never liked it either,” Trump said.
In June, Trump took an unprecedented step onto North Korean soil to meet with Kim and announced that Washington and Pyongyang would relaunch stalled nuclear talks.
It was their third meeting since Trump took office.
Yet for all the fanfare, there remain few signs that the U.S. and the North have made any concrete progress on denuclearization, the issue that has led to North Korea’s estrangement from the world.