Following Trump’s summit with Kim in Vietnam that concluded in February without an agreement, North Korea has launched short-range missiles and halted negotiations with U.S. diplomats. The regime has demanded that the United States drop its refusal to loosen sanctions until North Korea fully denuclearizes.
But Trump touted the letter as a sign that the talks were on track. “I think that something will happen that’s going to be very positive,” he said Tuesday.
Pete Buttigieg, one of Trump’s would-be opponents in the 2020 presidential campaign had a prescient moment Tuesday when he told a crowd an hour before Trump spoke: “You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people.”
Trump also claimed that remains of U.S. soldiers “keep coming back,” but in reality, the Pentagon has suspended its efforts to recover those bodies.
The U.S. military said it has been unable to reach North Korean officials to discuss issues related to the recovery of the remains.
“We have reached the point where we can no longer effectively plan, coordinate, and conduct field operations in the DPRK during this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2019,” said the Defense Department agency in charge of recovering the remains.
Trump was also asked about the news that Kim’s assassinated half brother was a CIA asset. The president said he’d tell Kim, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump meant that Kim wouldn’t have killed his half brother under his tenure, or if Trump wouldn’t have allowed Kim’s half brother to become a CIA asset.