Donald Trump believes North Korea will keep to missile pledge | News | DW | 11.03.2018
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Donald Trump believes North Korea will keep to missile pledge

US President Donald Trump has said he thinks Pyongyang will adhere to a promise to suspend missile tests. The billionaire has agreed to take part in a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un within weeks.

US President Donald Trump has told his Twitter followers and a rally in Pennsylvania of his hopes for an unprecedented meeting with the North Korean leader, slated for May.

In a tweet ahead of his speech, he said he believes Pyongyang will keep to a pledge to suspend missile tests, having not carried out any launches since November 28.

"I believe they will honor that commitment!" he wrote.

Later at the rally near Pittsburgh, the US leader told supporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to "make peace," adding: "I think it's time."

Read more: Opinion: A showdown of the alpha males

Crowds boo North Korea's Kim

At one point, the US leader hushed the crowd who jeered at the mention of Kim's name.

"No, it's very positive. No," Trump said. "After the meeting (in May) you may do that, but now we have to be very nice, because let's see what happens."

But he admitted his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which was greeted with widespread surprise when it was announced on Thursday, could fizzle without an agreement or it could result in "the greatest deal for the world" to ease nuclear tensions between the two countries.

"I may leave fast" if progress does not seem possible, Trump told the campaign rally for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone in western Pennsylvania. 

In a special election on Tuesday, Saccone is bidding to replace Tim Murphy, who resigned in October after reports that he encouraged a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to have an abortion.

Trump also said on Twitter that the leaders of China and Japan were supportive of his dialogue with Pyongyang.

Chinese President Xi Jinping "told me he appreciates that the US is working to solve the problem diplomatically rather than going with the ominous alternative," he wrote.

The talks announcement came after months of intensifying brinksmanship over the North's nuclear and missile programs, which have unnerved its neighbors.

Read more: Is a Trump-Kim meeting a recipe for disaster? Or so crazy it just might work?

Positivity on protectionism

Trump meanwhile reasserted that his protectionist policies were paying off for the US economy, just days after announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

He vowed that America's battered steel industry would benefit from the new penalties.

"Your steel is coming back. It's all coming back," the billionaire told several thousand cheering supporters, in a reference to US industry and jobs lost to deindustrialization.

In other comments, Trump repeated his pledge to fight any retaliatory trade measures by, for example, slapping taxes on imported European cars.

Read more: EU still in the dark over Trump's tariffs after meeting US representative

He also spoke about his plans to run for re-election in 2020, saying he hoped to run against Democrat Oprah Winfrey, who has ruled out entering the race.

"I'd love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness," said Trump.

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North Korea – ready to talk about nuclear disarmament

mm/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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