00:12 GMT +316 December 2019
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    FILE - In this June 12, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement before saying goodbye to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un after their meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore

    Trump Says Kim Ready to Start Negotiations as Soon as US-South Korea Drills Over

    © AP Photo / Susan Walsh, Pool
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a letter expressed his readiness to start negotiations with Washington as soon as US-South Korea joint drills were over.

    "In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises", Trump tweeted.

    Trump added that the letter contained "a small apology" for Pyongyang's test of the short-range missiles and a statement that this testing "would stop when the exercises end".

    "I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!" he added.

    Pyongyang has previously stressed that the test of two short-range ballistic missiles was "an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities".

    According to researchers in South Korea and the US, the weapon used in the tests was most likely the KN-23, a mobile ballistic missile system first seen in a 2018 parade. However, North Korea hasn't confirmed these reports.

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    Tags:
    missile tests, missile test, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, South Korea, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)