President Trump tweeted details about the "beautiful" letter he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un,… just 15 hours after Pyeongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
Trump said Saturday that Kim wants to meet once again to resume nuclear talks with the U.S., as soon as the joint military exercise between Seoul and Washington is over.
Noting that it was "a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,"… Trump also said Kim apologized for the recent flurry of short-range missile tests that has rattled U.S. allies in the region,… and assured that they would cease testing when the combined exercise ends.
Trump did not give any details about when the two leaders might meet again, but said that he looked forward to seeing Kim in the not-too-distant future.
However,… some news outlets have expressed concerns that Trump appeared to be siding with Kim in his objections to the joint drills with South Korea,… calling them "ridiculous and expensive" at a time of renewed security tensions.
The Washington Post said his tweets are sending the wrong message to U.S. allies,… calling it a "mob shakedown" which could have potentially destabilizing effects.
The New York Times also said Trump is seemingly echoing the North's criticism over the drills, saying they cost too much and South Korea does not pay enough for them.
Indeed on Friday, Mr. Trump again said he had never supported the exercises with South Korea to begin with.
Meanwhile, North Korea says it won't talk with South Korea unless Seoul pulls out of its joint exercise with the U.S. or provides a convincing reason.
That's according to a statement released on Sunday morning, by a senior North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of U.S. affairs.
The official said any future talks would involve only the North and the U.S., not South Korea, who he criticized for not recognizing Pyeongyang's right to self-defense.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.