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(LEAD) Trump says 'in no hurry' to negotiate with N. Korea

Diplomacy 04:06 December 15, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with background from 5th para; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. is "in no hurry" to negotiate with North Korea, a remark that comes as progress on dismantling the country's nuclear weapons program has stalled.

"Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea," Trump tweeted. "I always reply by saying we are in no hurry."

He added that "there is wonderful potential for great economic success for that country" and that North Korean leader "Kim Jong Un sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people."

"We are doing just fine!" he claimed.

This AFP photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meeting on Sentosa Island, Singapore, on June 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

The U.S. and North Korea have had no formal negotiations since Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June and agreed to "work toward" complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was due to hold talks with a senior North Korean official in New York, but the meeting was called off at a day's notice, reportedly at the North's request.

The Trump administration has promised economic rewards, including sanctions relief, in exchange for denuclearization, but the North has demanded concessions for the steps it has taken so far, such as the demolition of its nuclear testing site and the return of American prisoners.

Despite the apparent impasse, Trump said early this month that he expects to have a second summit with Kim in January or February.

He said the location has been narrowed to three sites.

hague@yna.co.kr
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