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Trump says North Korea’s Kim apologized for missile tests & wants to meet again

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting at their second summit in Hanoi, Feb. 27, 2019. (White House/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to meet once again to “start negotiations” after joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises end.

Trump tweeted on August 10 that Kim made these statements in a letter to him and that he looked “forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!”

Trump said that Kim offered him “a small apology” for the flurry of recent short-range missile tests that have rattled U.S. allies in the region and that Kim assured him they would stop when the exercises end.

Also on August 10, an EU spokesperson accused Pyongyang of undermining efforts to denuclearize and bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula and urged Kim to return to talks.

South Korean defense officials described the dawn launches on August 10 as two short-range ballistic missiles that flew 400 kilometers before plummeting into the sea.

“With the launching of two short-range ballistic missiles today, a fifth such test in recent weeks, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to undermine international work for building trust and establishing lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, free of nuclear weapons,” the EU statement said.

“We expect the DPRK to refrain from any further provocations, abide by its stated commitments, and fully implement its international obligations as determined by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

It called for more talks and urged “concrete and credible” moves from Pyongyang toward denuclearization and the abandonment of its ballistic-missile program.

Trump and Kim have met three times: in Singapore, Hanoi, and at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Trump, who has repeatedly praised Kim since their recent face-to-face meetings, has offered to help North Korea economically if it gives up its nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. leader had hinted at the possibility of new talks on August 9, when he described receiving a “very beautiful letter” from Kim and said in a reference to joint U.S.-South Korea drills that he’d “never liked it either.”

Pyongyang has said its weapons are for self-defense and has insisted that sanctions be removed before it curbs its nuclear programs.