North Korea’s foreign minister said on Saturday that there was “no way we will denuclearize” without getting so-called trust-building concessions from the United States
.. “Without any trust in the United States, there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,”
Even so, hours later at a rally, President Trump praised the two countries’ improved relations, to the point of saying he and the North Korean leader “fell in love.”
“I was really being tough, and so was he,” Mr. Trump said Saturday of Kim Jong-un. “And we would go back and forth.” He added, to laughter from the crowd in Wheeling, W.Va.: “And then we fell in love, O.K.? No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”
The United States has called for North Korea to surrender all of its nuclear capabilities before other issues can be negotiated. The North insists it needs reciprocal concessions from the United States, including the lifting of crippling economic sanctions and an official declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War has ended.
.. After meeting with Mr. Kim in North Korea this month, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea urged the United States to declare an end to the war as an incentive for the North to denuclearize. Washington has been hesitant to sign an official peace accord before Pyongyang denuclearizes.
.. “We have far more reasons to distrust the United States,” Mr. Ri said. “The United States possessed nuclear weapons earlier than we did, and the U.S. is the only country that used them in real war.”