US President Donald Trump said Monday there was "very positive" correspondence recently with North Korea and that the two sides will meet for nuclear talks when the communist regime is ready.
Trump's remark comes after he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an impromptu meeting at the inter-Korean border on June 30 and agreed to resume working-level talks on the denuclearization of the regime.
Asked by reporters if the talks have been scheduled, Trump said, "No, we just have a very good relationship and probably they would like to meet."
US President Donald Trump (Reuters-Yonhap)
The negotiations had been expected to resume in mid-July, but the North Koreans have reportedly been silent on a US offer for talks.
"We'll see what happens," Trump said at the start of a meeting with Pakistan's prime minister at the White House. "There was a little correspondence recently, very positive correspondence with North Korea. Again, there's no nuclear testing, there's no missile testing, there's no nothing. I think we will, yeah, at a certain point, when they're ready we'll be meeting."
North Korea warned last week that the talks' resumption would be affected by whether South Korea and the US go ahead with joint military exercises planned for next month.
The communist regime denounces the exercises as a rehearsal for invasion.
Trump did not respond to a question about whether the correspondence was between him and Kim.
The two men have exchanged a number of personal letters since last year, when they held their historic first summit in Singapore in June.
A second summit in Vietnam in Feb. ended without a deal due to differences over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the US.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News Monday that he hopes the North Koreans "take a position that's different" when they return to the negotiating table.
In an interview with CBS, he also said he hopes the talks will begin "soon" and added they are "aimed squarely at denuclearizing North Korea in a way that presents a lot less risk for the entire world."
Trump spoke to a Washington Post report alleging that Chinese telecom giant Huawei helped build and maintain North Korea's commercial wireless network.
He said he knows "all about" the Chinese company, which has been blacklisted by the US on national security concerns.
"We'll have to find out," Trump said. "Our relationship with North Korea has been very good. We've really established a good relationship with Kim Jong-un."
The Post reported that the alleged ties between Huawei and North Korea raised questions about the Chinese firm's possible violation of US export controls to furnish equipment to North Korea.
Huawei has used American technology in its components, it said.
The telecom titan has been at the center of an ongoing trade row between Washington and Beijing.
The Trump administration has urged its allies and partner nations to stop the use of Huawei products due to what it sees as a security risk to their 5G wireless networks.
The US has also indicated it could stop sharing intelligence with countries that continue to use the products. (Yonhap)