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(LEAD) (US-NK summit) N. Korean leader says he's committed to denuclearization

North Korea 13:41 February 28, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with more comments)

HANOI, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Thursday he remains committed to the denuclearization of his country, saying that otherwise he wouldn't be having talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

Asked by a U.S. pool reporter about whether denuclearization is truly his desire at the start of another round of talks, Kim said, "If I weren't willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now."

He also said he would "welcome" the opening of a U.S. liaison office in Pyongyang, which Trump also described as a good idea.

"I think it is something that is worth welcoming," he said, indicating the issue will be included in their joint statement to be signed soon.

As the reporter asked Kim about whether he's talking about human rights with Trump, the president stepped in and said, "We are discussing everything. We're having very, very productive discussions."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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