Building on successful actions that have seemingly gotten Iran to “stand down” amidst growing tensions, President Trump has reached out to resume talks with North Korea about curtailing their own nuclear ambitions.
According to national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the Trump administration has “reached out to the North Koreans” to ask them to resume diplomacy since the two sides broke off talks last October.
“We’ve reached out to the North Koreans and let them know that we would like to continue the negotiations in Stockholm that were last undertaken in early October,” he told Axios News over the weekend.
“We’ve been letting them know, through various channels, that we would like to get those [negotiations] back on track and to implement Chairman Kim’s commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” O’Brien added.
According to Axios, O’Brien expressed cautious optimism that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un hasn’t yet delivered his promised “Christmas gift” — something many analysts expected would be a nuclear weapons test.
President Trump is hoping to build on inroads he’s made – and the messages he feels he has sent to Iran reigning in their aggressions – to restart the talks and reach an agreement with North Korea. Trump recently sent a birthday message to Kim, but the North Koreans have already said Trump’s “courtship” of Kim, will not change their policy.
To date, Trump’s diplomacy has yielded little results besides giving Kim more time to expand his nuclear arsenal, according to analysts tracking North Korea’s supply of nuclear warheads.
Still O’Brien said that he remains hopeful about Kim’s decision — so far — to refrain from launching a nuclear test during the Christmas and New Year timeframe. “All we know is we were told we were going to get a Christmas gift and the Christmas gift didn’t come. And so I think that was an encouraging sign. But, again, that doesn’t mean we won’t see some sort of test in the future.” O’Brien told Axios.