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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Trump: Ending Iran nuclear deal wouldn’t hurt Kim talks

President declined to say whether US would pull out of the nuclear deal before a May 12 deadline

Kim met with this South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, at the DMZ for talks last week. Mr Trump tried to visit the DMZ while in Asia in November but was thwarted by fog. EPA/KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL
Kim met with this South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, at the DMZ for talks last week. Mr Trump tried to visit the DMZ while in Asia in November but was thwarted by fog. EPA/KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL

President Donald Trump said on Monday that pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal would not have a negative impact on his upcoming nuclear talks with North Korea and claimed he would be open to negotiating a new nuclear accord with Tehran.

“I think it sends the right message,” Mr Trump told a news conference when asked if pulling out of the Iran deal would send the wrong message to Pyongyang. “You know in seven years, that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons.”

The president declined to say whether the United States would pull out of the nuclear deal before a May 12 deadline for a decision, saying: “We’ll see what happens.”

But he expressed his dissatisfaction with the pact.

“That is just not an acceptable situation. They’re not sitting back idly. They’re setting off missiles, which they say are for television purposes. I don’t think so,” Mr Trump said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement.”

He also suggested that he favoured the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea for his proposed summit with the North’s dictator Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump said that “there’s something that I like” about meeting at the border known as the Demilitarised Zone, “because you’re there”.

He also said that if the talks were successful, the “celebration” at the border would be memorable.

United States and North Korean officials are still negotiating the timing and location of the possible summit.

Mr Trump said a number of other countries were also being considered, including Singapore. He tweeted: “Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!”

Mr Kim met with this South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, at the DMZ for talks last week. Mr Trump tried to visit the DMZ while in Asia in November but was thwarted by fog.

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