In a surprise move, US President Donald Trump made a deviation from his position on North Korea and her leader Kim Jong-Un. In Japan, starting off his Far East Asian tour, the US president reserved some warm words for the North Korean people.
“I would sit down with anybody,” he said. “I don’t think it’s strength or weakness, I think sitting down with people is not a bad thing,” he said on the “Full Measure” show on US TV.
Just a day ago, Trump had said that “no dictator” should underestimate US resolve, a clear swipe at North Korea and its young leader Kim Jong-Un.
The president arrived in Asia with tensions over North Korea at fever pitch, as US bombers fly sorties over the Korean peninsula and concerns mount that Pyongyang might stage another nuclear or missile test.
Speaking to reporters on the plane, he reserved some warm words for the North Korean people.
“I think they’re great people. They’re industrious. They’re warm, much warmer than the world really knows or understands. They’re great people. And I hope it all works out for everybody,” Donald Trump said.
However, he described North Korea as “a big problem for our country and for our world and we want to get it solved”.
Trump also announced that he would hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip, as the global community scrambles for a solution to the North Korean crisis. “We want Putin’s help on North Korea,” he said.
Trump’s Asian tour is set to become more testing as he flies to South Korea, then on to China. In China, he’ll meet his counterpart Xi Jinping who has solidified his grip on power after being handed a second term.
(With inputs from Agencies)