President Trump said late Saturday that North Korea must “denuke” before any talks with the U.S.
“Now we are talking and they … called up a couple of days ago. They said that ‘we would like to talk.’ And I said, ‘So would we, but you have to denuke, you have to denuke,’” Trump said at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C., Reuters reported.
“We will be meeting and we’ll see if anything positive happens,” he said.
“I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won’t.”
The news service noted that it was not clear if the president was joking during his remarks at the white-tie event, which features roast-style speeches, skits and political comedy. Trump’s remarks were filled with self-deprecating humor and barbs at his own administration as well as critics.
According to multiple reports on Sunday, South Korean envoys will travel to North Korea this week for discussions on easing nuclear tensions and restarting talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
South Korea’s national security director will lead the 10-member delegation, The Associated Press reported.
The South Koreans will travel to Washington after they visit Pyongyang, the AP added.
The developments come after a year of intensified tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and its nuclear weapons program.
The Trump administration reportedly told South Korea last month that it is open to preliminary talks with the North.