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Trump took decision on talks with Kim Jong Un himself: Tillerson

Tillerson said Trump had said for some time that he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right.

world Updated: Mar 09, 2018 15:59 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Djibouti
Donald Trump,Kim Jong Un,North Korea
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti, Friday March 9, 2018.(AP)

US President Donald Trump made the decision to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un himself, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday, but the talks will take “some weeks” to arrange.

Trump has said he was prepared to meet Kim in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between the two countries’ leaders and potentially mark a major breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.

“That is a decision the president took himself. I spoke to him very early this morning about that decision and we had a very good conversation,” Tillerson told reporters during a visit to the African nation of Djibouti.

“President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right,” the top US diplomat said.

“And I think in the president’s judgment that time has arrived now.”

He said the United States was surprised at how “forward-leaning” Kim was in his conversations with a visiting South Korean delegation. He said it was the strongest indication to date of Kim’s “not just willingness but really his desire for talks”.

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 15:56 IST