Trump says he believes N.K. wants to tap potential

WASHINGTON-- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to extend another invitation to North Korea to return to denuclearization talks, following Pyongyang's complaints about Washington's attitude.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump reiterated his belief that North Korea seeks to tap its economic potential.

The comment comes as U.S.-North Korea negotiations have stalled since the no-deal summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February due to disagreement over how far the North will denuclearize in exchange for sanctions relief from the U.S.

"I think North Korea is a country with tremendous potential, and I think they're going to want to take advantage of it," Trump said in the middle of discussing tensions with Iran. "So we'll see what happens."

Trump and Kim agreed to resume working-level talks within several weeks when they held an impromptu meeting at the inter-Korean border on June 30.

But the talks have yet to take place amid renewed tensions over North Korea's recent short-range ballistic missile tests and Pyongyang's protests against South Korea-U.S. military drills.

Last week North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said her country's expectations for dialogue with the U.S. were "gradually disappearing" after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out North Korea's "rogue behavior."

Only days earlier North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho had labeled Pompeo "the diehard toxin of the U.S. diplomacy" due to his suggestion that all sanctions on North Korea would remain in place short of its denuclearization.

"We are being pushed to reexamine all the measures we have taken so far," Choe warned.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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