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VOL. 41 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 29, 2017

Trump: Strong stance helps spur talks about North Korea

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says his tough stance on nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula is helping push North Korea and South Korea to talk.

Trump tweeted early Thursday, "Does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn't firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North."

Earlier this week, Trump seemed open to the possibility of an inter-Korean dialogue after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a rare overture toward South Korea in a New Year's address. But Trump's ambassador to the United Nations insisted that talks won't be meaningful unless the North is getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

The overture about talks came after Trump and Kim traded more bellicose claims about their nuclear weapons.

In his New Year's address, Kim repeated fiery nuclear threats against the U.S. Kim said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk and warned that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike."

Trump mocked that assertion Tuesday evening, tweeting: "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"