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Trump declares 'it's time' for North Korea talks, but White House maintains hardline stance Updated: 2018-03-12 18:13:07 KST

U.S. President Trump showed at a rally on Saturday that he was fired up for talks with North Korea, saying that he trusts Pyongyang to keep its word on halting nuclear missile testing for now.

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"I think they want to do something, I think they want to make peace, I think it is time. And I think we've shown great strength, I think that's also important, right?"

He also took to Twitter to express these views, saying he believes North Korea will 'honor their commitment'.

On Sunday, Trump's senior officials were out in full-force on the Sunday news shows to support the President's stance, while emphasizing that the U.S. will not back down from its hardline stance before the talks.

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"The sanctions are staying on, the defense posture is staying the same as it is. So, the President is going to sit down and see if he can cut a deal."

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"He (Kim) can't conduct nuclear testing, he's got to stop the missile testing that he's been hard at for the last years. He's got to continue to allow us to perform our militarily-necessary exercises on the peninsula, and then he's got to make sure that he leaves on the table that discussion for denuclearization."

However, some criticism has been voiced from members of Congress, even among Trump's Republican allies, that the deal for talks had been reached too impulsively, and that a lot of work has to be done before they meet.

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"I don't think anybody really believes that North Korea is prepared to denuclearize. If somebody is saying -- I've heard it suggested that that's what the North Koreans have already agreed to, I would question that."

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is slated to brief the United Nations Security Council on Washington's talks with the South Korean envoys, as well as meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday.

Trump's resolve for talks seems firm, but it remains to be seen whether Kim Jong-un will act as promised, and what sort of progress will be made when the two leaders meet in May.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.
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