09/05/2019, 15.35
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Trump says US does not seek regime change in Pyongyang

The US leader talked again about North Korea and Iran, suggesting that Washington might sign agreements with both. Talks with Kim Jong-un on denuclearisation stopped last February. Trump praises North Korea’s “tremendous potential".

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – For the first time, US President Donald J Trump explicitly stated that Washington is not pursuing "regime change” in North Korea.

In his latest statements, Trump urges Pyongyang to return to the denuclearisation talks, observers believe, so that its nuclear weapons and ballistic programmes can end in exchange for a loosening of economic sanctions imposed by the international community.

Talks stopped last February when the second Trump and Kim Jong-un summit in Hanoi (Vietnam) ended without an agreement.

During a meeting with reporters at the White House this morning, the US president talked about North Korea and Iran, suggesting the possibility that Washington might sign agreements with both.

"Iran can be a great country and North Korea can be a great country," he said. "They can be great. We are not looking for a regime change. We've learned that lesson a long time ago. They can be great countries. We'll see what happens, but there's a lot of talking going on right now. And I think a lot of it's going to be, and maybe all of it's going to happen in some very important deals."

At another press briefing earlier in the day, Trump also praised North Korea's “tremendous potential” and reiterated his belief that the North Koreans can tap into it.

On 30 June, Trump and Kim agreed to resume talks at the operational level at a last-minute meeting in Panmunjom, a former village inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that has divided the two Koreas for 66 years.

Talks have not started yet, but new tensions have risen in the region due to the recent North Korean missile tests and Pyongyang’s protests against joint US-South Korean military exercises.

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